VVS Laxman: I was a batsman rather than an artist

VVS Laxman said his only aim when he went out to bat was to get runs for the team Getty Images

New Delhi: Sep 5, 2012

The stylish VVS Laxman, India’s middle order bulwark who announced his retirement from international cricket recently, reckons that his ability to come good in pressure situations was his ‘biggest strength as a batsman.

The 37-year-old Laxman said he loved playing under difficult situations and adversities brought out the best in him.

“I used to love playing under tough situations when the team was under pressure. Adversities brought out the best in me. I guess it came from having to be the main batsman for Hyderabad since a young age”, he said.

“I was used to taking up more responsibility when the team was struggling. More than the technique and the skill set, I think the ability to come good in pressure situations was my biggest strength as a batsman,” said Laxman, whose sudden decision to quit the game triggered speculation of a strained relationship with his captain M S Dhoni.

Laxman also did not agree with the notion that he was more of an ‘artist’ than a batsman and said he always considered himself as a batsman who had to get runs for the country.

“I ve always considered myself as a batsman who has to get runs for the country. Every individual has a different style. But your role is to get results for the team. My role was to get the runs and take the catches that came my way,” Laxman told BCCI’s official website.

“It doesn t matter what kind of shots you play to get those runs and whether it is pleasing to the eye. All that is the by-product of what you re trying to achieve for the team.

I thank the Almighty for the talent to please the eyes of those who watch me bat. But my only aim when I went out to bat was to get runs for the team”, he explained.

Asked what role seniors like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble had played in his career, Laxman said all of them were leaders and have inspired him a lot.

“All of them have inspired me and I was really privileged to share the dressing room with such top sportsmen who took a lot of pride in their performances. All of us had one common goal, which was constant progress of Indian cricket.

“Another thing that brought all these men together was that they were all leaders. All of them have led the country at various stages and I ve played under them. Whether or not they were captaining the team, they always led from the front and thought as leaders. Simply by their actions, they inspired everyone who watched them”, he said.

Asked to pick special qualities of his teammates, Laxman said “Tendulkar s balance is brilliant. He has the most balanced stance that I ve seen. Rahul stood out for the professionalism and his temperament.

“Kumble had a never-say-die attitude and the fighting spirit. Sourav, for the grace and the courage to take the fight to the opposition, to protect his and his team s pride”, he said.

Laxman lavished praise on opener Virender Sehwag and said people mostly talk about his “unbelievable” shots but he also had a good temperament.

“It s just unreal. Sehwag is one batsman I really love watching bat. Some of the shots that he plays are unbelievable”.

“People mostly talk about Sehwag s skills and the ability to hit the ball. But for me what stands out is his temperament. Irrespective of whether he is in form or not, he sticks to his game plan and believes in himself. Sometimes, I wondered why we all can t play like he does?” he said.(PTI)