‘VVS Laxman. How would you rate this among your double hundreds against Australia?’
‘I would say it was the worst’.
No-one asked that really, because everyone knows Laxman’s 281 at Eden Gardens is his best innings.
With six hundreds against them and an average of 54, Australia must hate VVS Laxman. After 200 not out today, Brad Haddin’s well on the way to building up the kind of unnatural familiarity with Laxman’s right-hand side that Adam Gilchrist already enjoys.
When we were watching the match, we were struck by the phrase: ‘And there’s a bowling change, Simon Katich replacing Ricky Ponting.’
You know the Australian attack’s not what it was when they pick five bowlers and that utterance can still come about.
VVS Laxman is a great player who doesn’t play one-day internationals or Twenty20 internationals. He’s been at Lancashire before and done extremely well and everyone like him.
It also bolsters Lancashire’s batting, which needs a little bit of enbolsterment right now. Hopefully the enbolstery brought by Laxman will spur his fellow batsmen into great feats of bolsteration as well.
This sort of talk presumably formed the basis of the contract talks.
Not many cricketers actively prefer to play Australia, statistically at least. Most prefer Bangladesh. VVS Laxman just might prefer Australia.
We always preferred playing the wall of the garage, which could function as batsman, bowler, fielders AND scorecard – with the aid of a bit of chalk. We think that we probably had some friends at that point, but spurned them in favour of the wall. The wall was good to us. It never complained about being Australia, although it did hit us once after a contentious run-out.
Today’s 109 was Laxman’s 12th hundred, but his fifth against the Aussies. He averages 52.7 against Australia, 44.5 overall. Not a huge difference, but averages usually head the other way. It was also his third hundred at the SCG, which isn’t bad considering this was only his fourth innings there.
Suppose if you’ve played one of the best Test innings of all time against a side, it’ll give you a little bit of confidence. Lord knows where he got the initial confidence from though – probably from some sort of magic cake.