For a while now, VVS Laxman has been one of the surety’s of the Indian cricket team with his name in the batting line up coming only after Dravid and Sachin. Its pretty sad therefore to see him being axed in favour of an extra bowler for the second test match against England.
In reality though, Yuvraj was considered a better bet than him in the 5 man batting order bolstered by Dhoni and Pathan. But whatever Yuvraj, Sehwag or Jaffer are they just cannot match VVS Laxman. As recently as last December, he won India a test match against Sri Lanka. His average against Australia, the best team in recent memory is 53.02 as compared to his average against all teams which is at 43. Which Indian fan can forget his 281 in Eden Gardens or his 154 on a pacy wicket against the Australians as an opener? An attack boasting Mc Grath, Brett Lee, Jason Gillispie (in his prime) and Shane Warne conceded that they did not know where to bown to him and nicknamed him Very Very Special Laxman.
This isn’t a debate about statistics though. Its pretty simple to take these selectively and say that in the last couple of years he has struggled. Or make the argument that he is better than Sehwag or Yuvraj. Dravid once countered a reporter criticising Sehwag’s form that he was the kind of guy who went through a dry run and then hit a big one to compensate. I wonder why the same kind of logic doesn’t apply to one of the true class acts in the Indian team after Tendulkar.
This might just be biased support for a fellow Hyderabadi. But one Laxman gone cannot be replaced with Sehwag, Jaffer and Yuvraj put together.