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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Apologies Mr. Laxman

From the entire cricketing fraternity, it is our duty to apologize to VVS Laxman for the way he has bowed out of international cricket. This is not an isolated instance in his career - merely yet another example of how he has had to deal with the idiosyncrasies of the selectors, critics and fans across the Indian continent. In fact, if there was anyone else in his place, I dont think one would retire without making his point made. But, that is what makes Laxman the gentleman that he is - he always let his bat do the talking and I am sure Hyderabad in Ranji Trophy is the team to look out for.

In a blatant case of double standards, Laxman was probably told that the series against New Zealand was his last one (from what one can make out of Ganguly's outburst). If that was the case, Laxman could have joined Rahul Dravid earlier this season in retirement - just as they have done in many partnerships. MS Dhoni also seems to be party to the confusion around Laxman's place - a not good signal for the Indian captain who should have faced questions himself (whether it happened or not is anyone's guess). Or is this all because of the coach Fletcher's long-term plan after the Oz series disaster? Is Rohit Sharma given multiple chances just because he is younger? If so, it is definitely not the right standard to decide who should play or not! The fact that his wife was shocked at his decision shows the mental agony gone through by Laxman in the last few days. Thanks to the BCCI's style, none of the other players have spoken in support of Laxman, asking him to stay back in the squad. Not a single quote from anyone - is this the team unity that we have?

Coming back to Laxman's career, there is nothing more that I can say than what has been told by many people before. His appetite for runs was huge but not for 'easy runs' - he would never make hundreds in situations where others have made their impact. If the team is down and looking for someone to shore them up, that is where Laxman would come to rescue. Doesnt this remind you of Gundappa Viswanath? Exactly. One should put VVS in the same category as the veteran not just because of their unique batting style but also their penchant to score runs in diversity. They never believed in flogging attacks like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe to make their records appear impressive. They may not have the best records to show but everyone from their team-mates to opponents know whom to call upon when they are in trouble.

What Laxman should now do is to score runs by the ton in Ranji cricket to show who is the boss while his replacement and other batsmen will fail in matches against England and Australia.
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