I was Not Fit Enough to Play 2001 Eden Test – VVS Laxman
The match-winning 281 against Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001 will remain as one of the most significant Test match innings of all time. However, the former India batsman, VVS Laxman revealed he was not fit enough to play that Test against Australia.
I wasn’t fit for Kolkata Test – VVS
“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 recalled at the Mumbai launch of his book ‘281 and Beyond’, co-authored by R Kaushik.
Moreover, VVS Laxman said his partner, Rahul Dravid during that epic innings constantly motivated him through their partnership. The former Indian captain, Dravid scored 180 runs in the second essay after Australia gave India a follow-on. However, India managed to win the game by 171 runs and later the series 2-1.
“At the first place, I was not going to the play the Test match and Andrew made me fit to take the field. It was a great opportunity for my-self 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,” VVS Laxman reminisced, in the presence of cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar.
Sydney hundred was the defining moment
Furthermore, VVS Laxman also reckoned the 167 runs which he slammed against Australia at Sydney was the defining moment of his career. He also said the innings gave him much more confidence to play at the international level.
“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,” Laxman concluded.
In addition to, during the programme, Indian legend, Sachin Tendulkar shared several stories about VVS Laxman. However, former Indian cricketers Dilip Vengsarkar and Sandeep Patil also showered praise on Laxman in the presence of a galaxy of former international players like Ashish Nehra, Kiran More, Lalchand Rajput, and others.
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