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Sunday, July 21, 2024

VVS retires from international cricket

NEW DELHI: Veteran Indian batsman VVS Laxman announced on Saturday that he would be retiring from international cricket with immediate effect.Through his career, Laxman went on to live up to his nickname – ‘Very Very Special’ – as he became part of the famous batting quartet also comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid which ruled Indian cricket for more than a decade.Laxman got his first Test half-century (51) in the second innings of his debut match against the South Africans but it took him another 29 innings before he got his first Test hundred – a fabulous 167 against Australia in the Sydney Test.Since then Laxman has gone on to get 16 more hundreds while notching up a total of 56 half-centuries, with his highest being the monumental 281 against Australia in Kolkata which destroyed Australian captain Steve Waugh’s dream of conquering the ‘Final Frontier’.Laxman has since been a thorn in Australia’s flesh more than once. Barring the last series Down Under when he could manage only 155 in eight innings, Laxman has time and again taken on the Aussie challenge and come on top. He has 2434 runs against them at an average of 49.67. His splendid form against the reigning Test team was one of the reasons for India’s ascendancy to the top spot in Test cricket.Laxman till date, has played 134 Tests, amassing 8,781 runs at an average of 45.97 and hitting 17 hundreds. The Hyderabadi has always had a pair of safe hands and has pouched 135 Test catches too.Thriving under pressure has been Laxman’s forte. Every time he was dropped, Laxman bounced back with a vengeance and made his bite their words. The Damocles’ sword was always hanging on his head but instead of letting it pull him down, Laxman converted it into his strength and went on to carve a nice for himself.Laxman is one batsman who has batted in all positions barring No.9 and 11. He loves to bat at the No.3 position, where he has 1611 runs to his credit, but made himself comfortable at the No.5 and 6 positions where he got most of his runs (2877 and 2760). It’s unlikely that there will be another VVS soon.Very Very Special NumbersTest debut: vs South Africa at Ahmedabad, 1996M – 134; Runs – 8,781; Avg – 45.97; 100s – 17; Top Score – 281ODI debut: vs Zimbabwe at Cuttack, 1998M – 81; Runs – 2,338; Avg – 30.76; 100s – 6; Top Score – 131First-class debut: 1992-93M – 265; Runs – 19,520; Avg – 51.5; 100s – 54; Top Scores – 353

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