New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) V.V.S Laxman’s famous 281 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata during the 2001 Test between India and Australia is among the finest innings against top-class leg spin, according to former Australian skipper Ian Chappell.
Chappell said in a column for ESPNCricinfo that Laxman’s footwork and temperament were the two big factors that helped him notch the total while batting against Shane Warne, who was at the peak of his powers at the time.
“At the conclusion of that exhilarating series I asked Shane Warne how he thought he bowled,” wrote Chappell.
“”I don’t think I bowled that badly,” he replied.
“”You didn’t,” I responded. “If Laxman comes three paces out of his crease and hits an unbelievable on-drive against the spin and you then flight the next delivery a little higher and shorter to invite another drive and instead he quickly goes onto the back foot and pulls it, that’s not bad bowling. That’s good footwork.””
Laxman’s temperament is a quality that Chapppell says the former India batsman shares with Australian Doug Walters, who he said was the best player of off-spin he has ever seen.
“Laxman’s temperament was another huge part of his successful innings. He proved on that occasion — and in many subsequent tight situations — that he could ignore the team’s dire predicament and concentrate solely on the next delivery. That’s a great skill he shares with Walters,” he said.
Laxman’s 281 was part of a 376-run partnership with Rahul Dravid in India’s second innings of the match after then-Australian skipper Steve Waugh enforced a follow-on. India would go on to win the match by 171 runs in what was a career-defining moment for most players involved.