Talking about VVS Laxman’s unforgettable 281-run knock during the 2001 Kolkata Test against Australia, the former Indian skipper Rahul Dravid remarked it as probably the greatest Indian innings ever played.
During that brilliant match-winning innings, Dravid was his long-time partner who scored 180 runs and had the mammoth game-changing 376-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Recently, Dravid claimed that it was probably it was the greatest Indian innings ever played.
During a recent launch of Laxman’s autobiography “281 and beyond”, Laxman’s old national team friends Rahul Dravid, Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble were present.
In that launch, Dravid spoke about that innings, “I had the best seat in the house to watch probably the greatest Indian innings ever played. Both in terms of the context it was played in and the consequences it had.
“Generally I don’t like watching much of my own batting. But I have a tape of that 281 and some of the shots he played were phenomenal. The innings obviously defines him more. But that partnership probably defines our relationship the best.”
Also read: VVS Laxman Explains The Kohli-Kumble Rift
The former Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble missed that innings to watch live as he was returning India from South Africa after completing his rehab on shoulder surgery. However, he fulfilled his dream to watch that kind of innings at live when Dravid and Laxman had another game-changing 303-run partnership for the fifth wicket during the 2003 Adelaide Test.
Kumble said, “I never watched that live as I was travelling back to India from South Africa after my rehab. When it started happening in Adelaide in 2003, I wanted it to be like Calcutta so that I could watch it. And I was fortunate and probably also had the gut feeling that we would win.”
Laxman also revealed the reason for his idea to launch his autobiography in different cities. He also claimed that the 1983 World Cup-winning was his turning point in life as he had hoped to emulate that at one day.
Laxman said, “The whole idea behind having the book launch in five cities was to share it with those who were involved in this journey. How privileged am I to have E.A.S. Prasanna sir, Vishy sir [G.R. Viswanath], World Cup winner Roger Binny sir here… In fact 1983 was the turning point in my life. I had hoped that one day I could also do something like that.”