VVS Laxman's 281 Vs Australia, 15 Mar 2001

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default VVS Laxman's 281 Vs Australia, 15 Mar 2001

Post by jahid789 on Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:30 am

VVS Laxman's 281 Vs Australia, 15 Mar 2001



This was unarguably one of the finest innings in history. What are we on about? It WAS the finest innings in history. Moan away in the comments all you want, but we know it was, you know it was and if you disagree, we're going to ignore you.

"VVS Laxman is having a ball," said Tony Greig while commentating at the time. What a ball. Can we come? Balls have never really appealed before, but if they're anything like this then we've all been missing out since the 1920s or whenever balls were in fashion.

Quite often we assume that you all know the facts surrounding an innings. This is one of those occasions, nevertheless, here's the background. Australia are playing India at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, busiest and noisiest of all the Test venues. Australia bat first and make 445. In reply, India are bowled out for just 171 and Australia ask them to bat again.

India require 274 runs to so much as escape without an innings defeat. Their first innings was over a hundred runs short of that, but here's the key: VVS Laxman had been the only batsman to pass 50. He batted at six. In the second innings, as the only batsman showing even the faintest hint of form, he's promoted to three. Turns out he got his eye in during that 50.

VVS Laxman bats. And he bats. And he bats. And he bats. He bats his way to a hundred. He bats his way to a double hundred. When he's eventually dismissed, he has 281 runs and he's put India into a position where they will go on and win the game.

It was incredible because India were down and out; and torn and tattered; and battered and bruised and beaten. It was incredible because of the way Laxman played. It was incredible because he managed to play that way for so, so long.

There were 44 fours, most of which appeared to be directed at particular blades of grass, they were so accurately judged. Some were just impudent; the kind of shots that only the most gifted can play. Shane Warne bowled one ball from round the wicket which pitched well wide of leg-stump. VVS Laxman skittered around it and arrowed it through the off-side. It was absolutely incredible. Then he just carried on.

Rahul Dravid deserves a nod as well for his 180, without which none of this could have happened. You couldn't pick a better player for that role.



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