Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman, also known as VVS Laxman, has been one of the most elegant batsmen India have ever produced. The classy right handed batsman has showed his uncanny class in the longest format of the game and undoubtedly one of the best India have ever seen. He turns 43 today and still active in cricket world with his commentary and in IPL as a coach of Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Laxman was part of the famous Fab Four of Indian cricket
His batting was not only elegant, but special also. He redefined the use of wrist in the world cricket and made a cakewalk of bowling, especially the Aussies at that time.
Today we shall take a look back some of the facts of this great human being, VVS Laxman-
1. Chose cricket over Medical:
Born in a doctor family, Laxman was brilliant as a student and wanted to follow the footsteps of his parents, who were noted doctors in Hyderabad. But young Laxman in the end chose bat over medical and concentrated more on his cricket. We can just thank god he did.
2. The Early Blossoming:
Laxman was a player who had a gifted temperament. Throughout his career, he has ruled the Aussie bowling, but it started in the youth levels. Laxman made his Under-19 debut for India against them in February 1994. Batting at six, he made 88 in his debut innings against a bowling attack that had the likes of Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie. In the second game of the series, Laxman scored an unbeaten 151 in the first innings and 77 in the second innings to help his team register a 226-run victory and ended-up as the leading run-scorer of the series at a monumental average of 110.25.
3. The patience Wait to make his stamp:
Laxman debuted in 1996 against South Africa and played a handful knock in that match. But in the next three years or so, he couldn’t really cement his place with a big score. The Hyderabadi was immensely stylish and talented, but somehow he missed out his inaugural test hundred every time he was near to it. He missed it against Australia in 1998 at Kolkata, but redeemed himself a couple years later in Australia, where he got his first career hundred. A well compiled 167 against the fiery Aussie attack that time attracted the cricketing fraternity towards him.
4. The Kangaroo hunter and earned Respect:
Throughout his career, Australia has brought the best out of him. In every format, every venue, he has tormented the Aussie attack and has piled huge runs. In 29 test matches against Australia, he scored 2,434 runs at an average 49.67. In 21 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) against the same team, he scored 739 runs at an impressive average 46. Six of his 17 test hundreds and 4 of his 6 ODI hundreds have come against Australia, which is a sublime record given the strength of Australia at that time.
And his domination against the Australians has gained him respect from the Kangaroos. Former players, players of his era everybody has immense respect for him and they have stated publicly about their admiration of Laxman’s talent.
5. Very Very Special:
His name’s initials got a new meaning and abbreviation as Very Very Special. There are many theories about who gave the name but the man himself revealed to Cricket Country that it was former Australia captain Ian Chapell who gave him the name.
He was a safe slip fielder
6. Not a single World Cup appearance:
It sounds astonishing, but yes, VVS never played a World Cup game in his illustrious career, which was a disappointment more for India than him.
7. The Zero Connection:
Both his first class and ODI debut started with a duck. Even the last ODI innings of Laxman was also a zero, which is a shame.