Telling quotes from the very, very special Laxman
VVS Laxman was an integral part of the star-studded Indian batting line-up comprising Tendulkar, Ganguly and Dravid for over a decade.
He always had a keen eye which not only came in handy as a player but as a commentator and a coach post his retirement. Here are some interesting observations from the very, very special Laxman:
Greg Chappell had a controversial tenure as the coach of the Indian team. His rift with Sourav Ganguly is well documented and his tenure was cut short after India’s disappointing display at the 2007 World Cup.
“If we had misgivings when it came to Greg—and we did have plenty, yes—it wasn’t because of our egos. We never felt we were bigger than the game. I can certainly speak for myself, and I will say this much—Greg sent out conflicting signals, treating me with a callousness that I found shockingly unacceptable. I will always respect Greg Chappell the batsman. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Greg Chappell the coach.”
Not only Laxman, MS Dhoni impressed Tendulkar and Ganguly with his level headedness as well.
“MS Dhoni was understandably shy when he broke into the team, but we got to know each other well because I stood in the slips and we had lots of conversations. What stood out was his balance and maturity as a human being. He understood the game really well, and his situational awareness was excellent. And he had plenty of self-belief. He was unorthodox as a wicket keeper and batsman, but he didn’t succumb to pressure and try to be classical.”
Anil Kumble is a legend of the game. He finished his prolific test career as the third-highest wicket-taker in history and also walked the tight rope of captaining the team with alacrity.
“Anil is the greatest competitor I have played with or against. I’ve never known him to take a backward step or shy away from a challenge. He would be itching for the ball on day one of a Test match in England or South Africa, on pitches that had nothing for the spinner.”
Virender Sehwag always had a rare talent. Better still, he knew it and made no qualms about it.
“[Once] Out of the blue, Viru told me, ‘Laxman bhai, you had a great opportunity to make a triple hundred in the Kolkata Test, but unfortunately, you didn’t. Now you wait and watch, I will become the first Indian to score 300 in Test cricket.’ My jaw dropped and I stared at him in astonishment.”