Yesterday on reading a joint interview of Yusuf and Irfan Pathan in t2 brought back an old memory... Both the Pathan brothers had picked V.V.S. Laxman as their favourite cricketer. Instantly, I remembered that awesome innings played by Laxman way back in 2001 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
Initially forced to watch cricket out of no other option because of Baba and Dada, I took a liking to the sport and the Indian Cricket team. I still remember that morning when I was studying and also keeping a track of the score at the same time. India batted miserably in the first innings with Laxman unbeaten at one end while wickets tumbled one by one at the other. Forced to follow-on by Australia, what followed was an innings by Laxman which is considered as one of the best of the century.
Runs flowed in with boundaries as Geoffrey Boycott chuckled "V. V. S. Laxman is on fire!" Laxman was unstoppable as he kept timing the ball to the fences - later on Warne admitted that he was clueless on how to stop Laxman! From the other end Rahul Dravid also kept the momentum going and together they built up a huge partnership. Until that day I had thought test cricket to be boring with so many maiden overs but that was the best test match I have ever watched. On the verge of an innings defeat, India went on to win the Test. Innings like these are unforgettable and leave behind a postive spirit and energy in our minds.
I went on to become a big fan of Laxman and read up all articles on him and learnt his full name - Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman which is his village's name, father's name, name of family God - in that order. But he is more popularly and rightfully known as Very Very Special Laxman!