Saturday, July 14, 2007

WILL LAXMAN MAKE THE CUT?

This tour of England is going to be remembered for a long time in the history of Indian cricket. It is not because of the possibility of India emerging winners; it is because a number of greats are surely on their last tour of the Old Blighty.

Sachin Tendulkar made his mark and his first century in test matches in the course of a match saving innings in the company of Manoj Prabhakar. In the subsequent tours too, Sachin made runs at the most critical of moments.

Saurav Ganguly set the cat among the pigeons by scoring a hundred on debut at Lord’s. It was a knock that surprised all. The present Chairman of selectors was extremely critical of the then selectors picking the left-hander from Kolkata for the tour. Even in the last tour, Ganguly contributed significantly to the team cause. The hundred at Leeds after electing to bat on a seaming wicket was a truly captain’s knock. Even in the Natwest finals, Ganguly opened the innings in the company of Sehwag and set the ball rolling for a famous victory. However, in both instances, Saurav was overshadowed by his teammates.

It is difficult to speak on the achievements of Rahul Dravid. In his debut test, Dravid scored only 95. Those were the days when Dravid seemingly was unable to convert fifties into hundreds. But the last tour, Dravid made all the difference between the two teams as far as the test matches were concerned. The English bowlers could not breach the wall. The one-dayers also showcased the talents of Dravid.

V.V.S. Laxman has taken on the best of the bowlers with ease. But he missed out on the runs in the last tour. In between Laxman was not included in the squads for two World Cups and was ‘rested’ for some test matches. Never has been Laxman given the merit that he richly deserves.

In the match versus Sussex, Laxman made a half-century but there was disappointment in the first innings against England A. With Yuvraj and Karthick in the reckoning for a middle order slot, things are not rosy for Laxman.

It would be great for Laxman and for his fans like me if he makes the cut and scores runs. A failure would put a big question mark on his future in international cricket despite his enviable record.

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