Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin feels that the former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman was unlucky to miss out from experiencing a World Cup match. Azharuddin also opened up his feeling of why Laxman didn’t play many ODI matches.
VVS Laxman was one of the greatest Indian batsmen who served the national team from 1996 to 2012. Apart from playing 134 Tests (8781 runs), Laxman also played 84 ODIs where the right-handed batsman scored 2338 runs (average 30.76), including six centuries and ten fifties.
While the Hyderabad cricketer Laxman made his Test debut under Sachin Tendulkar’s leadership in November 1996, he made his ODI debut in April 1998, when another Hyderabad cricket star Mohammad Azharuddin was leading the Indian team.
Talking about Laxman’s missing out the ODI cricket, especially during his good time, Azharuddin pointed out his fielding abilities. Though the former Indian captain feels that Laxman was an outstanding fielder, who took 174 international catches (135 Test catches and 39 ODI catches), he also believes that Laxman had to improve his fielding in the non-slip areas.
Azharuddin recently told Sportskeeda on Facebook, “Maybe the selectors felt that because of his fielding abilities he missed out. That’s what I gather. But as a player, he got two-three hundreds in one-day games as well. I think he got a couple of hundreds in Australia as well… He was a very good fielder, taking more than 120 or 130 catches. But in one-day matches, you can’t just field in the slips. You are required to field everywhere, wherever you are put.”
I think VVS Laxman was unlucky as a batsman: Mohammad Azharuddin
Respecting captain’s view according to the team’s requirement, Azharuddin feels that Laxman was unlucky as a batsman.
The former Indian skipper added, “Sometimes we have to go with the combination and the captain’s view. I think he was unlucky as a batsman. Sometimes you can shield the fielders also.”
Another former Indian cricketer Sourav Ganguly, who is the current President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), once admitted that Laxman deserved to feature in a Cricket World Cup. However, when Ganguly led the Indian team in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 in South Africa, where the Indian team finished as the runners-up, Laxman was not selected in the 15-member squad.