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Unsung hero VVS Laxman retires from international cricket

August 19, 2012

VVS Laxman retirement, world's most elegant batsmen,

One of the most elegant players of world cricket, VVS Laxman has retired from international cricket after representing India for 16 years. He made his debut in 1996 and has since played 134 Test matches scoring 8781 runs and 2338 runs in 86 ODI’s. He has been one of the unsung heroes of Indian cricket. But, he was one of the most important players, who stayed at the crease along with the Indian team tail to score crucial runs in the context of many matches.

No bowler dared to bowl him on his pads; as such deliveries would more or less have to be fetched from the boundary ropes. He would flick the ball both square and front of the wicket perfectly. The ball would race to the boundary without giving any chance to the fielder. One agrees that he may not have a perfect footwork, but that all goes to the dust-bin, when he starts to dominate bowlers with his timing all around the park. He looked all class when in full flow and the way he played the ball late made him an exquisite player.

It was against the Aussies that the player from Hyderabad scored prolific runs. No wonder, the Aussies considered his wicket to be an important one, sometimes even more than Sachin Tendulkar. Out of the 17 Test centuries he scored, 6 of them were against the Aussies. He had become a nemesis for the Aussies. He dominated the Australian bowlers like no other player. Two of his best knocks have come against the Aussies. His innings of 281 at Eden Gardens is said to be one of the best knock that has ever been played by an Indian. His 167 innings at Sydney is also rated very highly, where even one of the great Australian bowlers, Glen McGrath looked helpless.

Especially, in Australian pitches, he was a good player with the ball coming into the bat with decent pace. But, unfortunately in his last tour of Australia, he failed to put up a good performance, which led to his criticism too, as he had also failed in the previous English tour. Many also say that it was due to the number of reports criticising the player that must have led him to take this retirement decision. The criticisms leveled against him were not fair when it was the entire batting line up that failed.

Though, he had a great Test career, but still, something was amiss when he played for India in coloured uniform. He could not convert his batting form into the 50 over format. Hence, he was one of the best Indian players not to have played the world cup, which is one of the biggest championships in the world. It only takes place once in four years. The closest he came to be selected was in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. Most of the players picked for themselves during that edition, but there was one spot vacant, so many experts expected VVS Laxman to make the cut. It was not to be as the selectors picked Dinesh Mongia in the squad for his all round ability. No doubt, he still rues the fact of not having played in any World Cup.

It was understood that the player would be retiring soon, but everyone was surprised that the player chose to retire from international cricket with immediate effect from 18th of August 2012. In fact, he was chosen for the Indian series against New Zealand too, which was to be played in a week’s time but he thinks it’s time for youngsters to replace him. One important question that has come to the forefront – has Laxman retired hurt?

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