For V.V.S. Laxman, playing his 100th Test, it’s been a saga of dedication and discipline. He has combined his talent with hard work to emerge an icon of sportsmanship. He shared his views in this interview.
Q: How do you assess your career?
A: It’s been a satisfying journey considering the background I came from. It was a family of doctors and engineers. The school I went to laid emphasis on academics. For me it was a great moment when I played for India. It’s been a wonderful journey.
What were your initial observations?
I always wanted to be a doctor. When I was in 12th I was on the verge of playing Ranji Trophy and my family had to make a decision. I was given a specific time to decide on a career. People said I had the potential and the talent and when I played the under-19 series against Australia (in 1993-94) I made the most of it.
Did you ever doubt your potential?
I had some self doubts before that under-19 series. But then I practised hard and it gave me self belief. That series was the first significant phase of my career. . Then came the difficult phase from 1996 to 2000 when I was in and out of the Indian team. I was branded as a non-regular opener when actually I was a No. 3 batsman. The turning point for me was the 281 (at Kolkata).
How do you evaluate your batting?
All along I had batted at No 3. Suddenly I was asked to open. And then it became No. 6. I became flexible and gained from batting at various positions. I adapted even though opening the innings was not natural for me. I was best suited to bat at No. 3 though. But it gives me great satisfaction that I have been able to contribute at No. 6.
How has it been playing with stalwarts like Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly?
We have enjoyed each other’s company and I have learnt so much from watching them. I am proud of what we have achieved. .
Which do you rate your best knock?
There are many. In fact all the match-winning knocks. The 281, the two fifties at Trinidad (in 2002); the 69 at Mumbai (against Australia in 2004); the 79 at Perth (in 2008).
What qualities would you like to imbibe from some of your colleagues?
The passion for the game from Sachin; the fighting spirit from Sourav; the professionalism of Rahul; the selfless nature of Anil (Kumble).
6 months ago