India will miss Laxman in Tests, says Dravid

India will miss Laxman in Tests, says Dravid


Describing VVS Laxman as one of the finest Indian batsmen, former India skipper Rahul Dravid admitted that the Hyderabadi’s sudden retirement from international cricket on Saturday did take him by surprise.

“It did come as a surprise that he retired considering that he has been preparing for the season and the fact that he had been picked for the series (against New Zea­land),” Dravid said on Sunday after his arrival from London where he attended a meeting of the Marylebone Cricket Club.

Amidst shock and suspense, Laxman announced his exit from top-flight cricket in Hyderabad though he had been preparing to play at least until the Australia series early next year. In fact Laxman had turned up for Hyderabad in the Safi Darashah memorial trophy tournament in Mysore conducted by the Karnataka State Cricket Association and cracked a sparkling 169 against KSCA President’s XI.

Dravid, who has had a long association with Laxman beginning from their teens, felt the 37-year-old must have thought long and hard before arriving at the decision. “He would always want to live up to the high standards that he has set for himself but knowing the person that Laxman is, I am sure he wouldn’t want to play if he felt that his mind wasn’t free,” he pointed out.

The Karnataka stalwart, who bid adieu to the international game in March this year following India’s 0-4 debacle against Australia Down Under, has forged many a memorable partnership with Laxman including the historic one at the Eden Gardens against Australia in 2001, and the right-hander said it was time to recollect Laxman’s contributions for the Indian team.

“Ultimately it’s his decision (to retire). India will miss him in the Tests ahead but it’s also the time to reflect on what Laxman achieved for India. Hopefully a young cricketer will take the opportunity and maximise his talent and do what Laxman did for India all these years,” he remarked.

Part of the ‘Fabulous Four’ of Indian batting, Laxman and Dravid produced several innings of substance to herald India’s success away from home. “Laxman is a great cricketer and one of the finest batsmen ever to have played for India. He was part of an era during which India was successful in Test cricket and he also contributed enormo­usly towards that success. His performance on the field and personality off it were always of high standard. He has played many crucial knocks that helped India,” he observed.

VVS’ stand-out partnerships

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