New Delhi [India], Nov 1 (ANI): Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman was renowned for standing up for the team when all chips were down which earned him the moniker of 'Very Very Special' during his playing days.
As the ace Indian batsman celebrates his 46th birthday today, let's have a look at some of his finest knocks in international cricket.
When one thinks about Laxman's greatest innings, it is hard to go past his 281-run knock against Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001. This innings by the batsman is still viewed as one of the greatest Test knocks.
Australia was in a dominant position for the majority of the match and the game was a must-win for India after losing the first Test. Australians were in total control at the Eden Gardens as they enforced the follow-on. In the first innings, India was bundled out for 171 in reply to Australia's 445.
In the second innings, Indian openers were dismissed and VVS Laxman came out to bat next. Nobody would have anticipated that the batsman would go on to produce a 'miracle' for the side. He found support in Rahul Dravid and the duo went on to stitch together a partnership of 376 runs. Laxman and Dravid dismantled the Aussie bowling attack which comprised of Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.
Laxman went on to score 281 and enabled India to produce one of the greatest comeback victories. This knock by Laxman was the highest score by an Indian batsman till 2004 which was later surpassed by Virender Sehwag.
Another of his top-class knocks is his 104-run innings against Pakistan in the final ODI of the five-match series in 2004. The series was levelled at 2-2 and the final match was played at Lahore. India kept on losing wickets at regular intervals, but Laxman once again came to the rescue and went on to score 104 runs to allow India to post 293 runs on the board. India eventually came out triumphant to give themselves a win in the series in Pakistan.
Laxman's 73-run knock against Australia in 2010 can also be viewed as one of his finest innings. It was the first Test of the two-match series. India was in a spot of bother chasing 216 for the win and the side had lost all their key batsmen. Laxman found it difficult to have partners sticking with him at the other end.
Laxman found support in the last two players--Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha to give India a thrilling one-wicket victory over the Aussies.
He announced retirement from international cricket in 2012. He went on to play 134 Tests, 86 ODIs for India.
The batsman went on to score 8,781 runs in Tests while he registered 2,338 runs in 50-over cricket. (ANI)