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VVS Laxman Was Unfit When He Scored 281?
By CricShots - Nov 23, 2018 11:24 am
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Former Indian batsman, VVS Laxman has often been remembered for his match-winning knock of 281 against Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001, but recently he revealed he was not fit enough to play that Test against Australia.

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VVS Laxman

Recalling the day during the Mumbai launch of his book ‘281 and Beyond’, co-authored by R Kaushik, the batting legend said, “281 (against Australia in 2001) was a significant achievement as far as I am concerned because the situation we were in (that Test match). And also I was not fit enough to play that Test match. Hemang Badani was there in the physio room when I walked into (former physio) Andrew Leipus, who actually I feel because of him I was able to play the Test match.”

Laxman said that his partner and former India skipper Rahul Dravid gave him the motivation during their humungous partnership. Dravid went on to score 180 in the second innings after the hosts were given a follow-on by Australia. India eventually went on to win the Test match by 171 runs and later the series 2-1.

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Reminiscing the day in front of Sachin Tendulkar, VVS said, “It was a great opportunity for myself to go and just play my natural game. So that Test match was an important Test match, because I didn’t make runs in the first Test match (in Mumbai) and as it turned out I played my natural game, played on the merit of the ball, didn’t really think about what happened in the past or what’s going to happen. Credit to Rahul (Dravid) the way he kept motivating me at the other end and playing such a fantastic knock. But that partnership with Rahul was so important.”

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Dravid and Laxman did the job for India

Laxman also remembered the 167, which he scored against Australia in Sydney, saying that innings gave him the confidence to play at the international level.

Talking about the India tour to Australia in 1999-2000, Laxman said, “The tour to Australia in 1999-2000, changed that perception changed my perspective and approach towards the game. The 167 (in Sydney) was a defining moment as far as I am concerned because that gave me the confidence that I can go and play against the best, irrespective of whether I am playing in India or in their own backyard and I belong to the international level. (So) 281, actually didn’t put any pressure on me, neither did I feel pressure when I walked out that people are expecting me to score 200 or 281, it doesn’t happen that way.”

ALSO READ: VVS Laxman Points India’s Mistakes 

During the programme, Tendulkar shared several anecdotes of the Hyderabadi batsman including from his first tour to South Africa. Also, former India players Dilip Vengsarkar and Sandeep Patil also showered praise on Laxman in presence of a galaxy of former international players like Ashish Nehra, Kiran More, Lalchand Rajput, and others.