Laxman honored to surpass ‘legend’ Gavaskar


Vangipurappu Laxman, fresh from scoring 275 not out, said it was an honour to surpass Sunil Gavaskar’s highest test score by an Indian batsman.

Laxman’s 10-hour effort gave India a great chance of saving the second test against Australia and he said on Wednesday his next target would be the 300-run mark.

“It was a satisfying innings. I am very thrilled at the way things have gone, partly because we came back in the game,” he told reporters.

Gavaskar scored 236 not out against West Indies in Madras in 1983-84.

“It is a great honour because Gavaskar is a legend in Indian cricket,” Laxman said.

India, who followed on 274 runs behind, were 589 for four at the close. Australia failed to take a wicket on the fourth day.

“Yes, absolutely — 300, I am aiming at,” he said.

“Cricket is a very funny game. I was playing well and seeing the ball well. I generally tried to play according to the merit of the ball,” he said.

India were dismissed for 171 in reply to Australia’s first innings 445.

Laxman’s only previous test century was 167 made in Sydney early last year during a 3-0 series sweep by Australia.

Rahul Dravid, who hit 155 not out and shared in an unbroken 357-run fifth wicket partnership with Laxman, was all praise for his team mate.

“It was a fantastic knock,” he said, adding that Laxman’s fluent approach had inspired his own batting.

Laxman was promoted to number three in the order — at Dravid’s expense — after he top scored with 59 in the first innings when batting at number six.

“I have become a more determined player and was desperate to get a big score after some poor performances,” he said.

Australian coach John Buchanan said Laxman’s knock had put India in the “driving seat”.

But Buchanan said his team were not too worried that their world record run of consecutive test victories could be coming to an end at 16.

Asked whether his side were under any pressure, Buchanan said: “We’ve been in the field for a couple of days now despite having enforced the follow-on. Yes, it has been a lot of hard work and it feels even harder when you get little or no return for the effort you put in.”