Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman celebrates his 45th birthday on Friday. Born on November 1, 1974, the right-handed batsman is one of the greatest cricketers produced by India and has also led India to many victories. Hailing from Hyderabad, Laxman was gifted with magical wrists and toiled the bowlers throughout his career. The latter was specially renowned for his heroics in the longest format and also got the nickname ‘Very Very Special Laxman’. Be it pace or spin, the former excelled against all types of bowlers in every condition. The 45-year old has played many stupendous innings in his illustrious career and below we will be focusing on five such performances. VVS Laxman Wants BCCI Chief Sourav Ganguly to Support and Revive National Cricket Academy.
281 vs Australia in Kolkata
This knock by the Indian stalwart is considered as one of the best knocks in the longest format of the game. The blitz came in the third Test of Australia’s 2001 Tour of India. Batting first, the visitors registered 445 runs and dismissed India for mere 171 runs in the second innings of the match. India received a follow-on and their defeat was on the cards. However, Laxman played a gem of an innings and brought up a magnificent double ton. As a result, India 657 runs in the third innings and later clinched the match by 171 runs.
76 & 124 vs New Zealand in Napier
Another Laxman’s brilliance came in the second Test of India’s 2009 Tour of New Zealand. Batting first, the hosts piled up a massive score of 619 runs. In reply, India’s top order tumbled and Laxman came to India’s rescue. The batsman scored a gritty fifty but didn’t get much support from the other end and the team was bundled out for 305 runs. After being asked to follow-on, the batsman continued his good run and reached the three-figure mark. Laxman’s heroics brought India back in the encounter and the match resulted in a draw.
107 vs Pakistan in Lahore
The fifth ODI of India’s 2004 Tour of Pakistan was a series decider and Laxman rose to the occasion. Coming to bat at number three, the right-handed batsman displayed great resilience against the arch-rivals and scored runs with ease. After assessing conditions early, Laxman went after the bowlers in the latter part of his innings and brought up a scintillating ton. Former powered India to 293 runs in the first innings which proved to be enough as the Men in Blue won the clash by 40 runs.
103 Against Australia in Brisbane
Laxman always had a knack of toiling the Aussie bowlers regardless of the format. One of his mayhem against the Aussies came in the fifth ODI of India’s 2004 Tour down under. After electing to bat first, Laxman came in to bat after the fall of the first wicket and played a sensational innings. The batsman smashed the likes of Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie in order to register a fantastic ton. As a result, India scored 303 runs in the first innings and later won the match by 19 runs.
143 Against South Africa in Kolkata
The right-handed batsman looked at his prime in the second Test of South Africa’s 2010 Tour of India. After dismissing the Proteas for 296 in the first innings, India came in to bat and took the match away from the opposition. Laxman came to bat at number five and scored runs in all the parts of the ground. In total, the former batsman scored 143 runs as India registered a mammoth total of 643 in their first innings. The visitors failed to comeback in their innings and lost the match by an innings and 57 runs.
Laxman bid adieu to international cricket in August 2012 and gave relief to many bowlers around the world. Post-retirement, the latter served as a coach and has been mentoring Sunrisers Hyderabad since their inception in 2013. Apart from that, Laxman has also donned the commentator's hat and was also part of the expert panel in the recently concluded India vs South Africa Test series.