ICL: Indian Cricket League

Australian intensity will lift our game, says Laxman


laxmonReturning to face one of his favourite opposition teams, VVS Laxman was hopeful that the intensity of the Australians will rub off on the Indians and make the series just as competitive as the previous tour in 2003-04. Laxman was one of the star performers, compiling two big hundreds in a series which India nearly won.

“If you give them an inch, they will walk all over you,” Laxman said in Melbourne. “Because of the intensity with which Australia play their cricket, we raised our level last time. The intensity shown by the Aussies will help us lift ourselves this time too.”

Laxman has established himself as one of the best batsmen against them, averaging over 52 in 16 Tests. His performance in Australia is a few notches higher: he averages nearly 60 there, including three hundreds. His recent form has also been good, with a hundred and a half-century in the recent series against Pakistan.

“I am happy with the way in which I batted and made runs against Pakistan,” he said. “I hope to score runs this time too. Last time around, I was quite consistent and contributed to the team’s cause. I have always enjoyed batting here, it’s a great place to play cricket. It is also an opportunity to do well against a very good side.”

There is a likelihood of him relinquishing his No.6 spot and being promoted to No.3 to negate Australia’s pace attack. However, the experiment failed in India’s only outing before the first Test, as Laxman made just 1 against Victoria at the Junction Oval in Melbourne.

“As long as it’s the middle order, I am quite happy with whatever role is assigned to me,” he said. “At No.3 three, you are setting up the innings for the team. At No.6, you are playing according to the situation, and quite often, you end up batting with the tail.”

Laxman also pointed out that the key for any overseas team to do well in Australia was to compile a big first-innings score and bat for long periods. “Whenever we have won overseas, we have got huge runs in the first innings. I would like to contribute there.”

Fortunately for India, the middle order has played to its potential in recent times and the competition for places has increased with Sourav Ganguly’s revival and Yuvraj Singh’s current form. Possibly in his last tour of Australia, Laxman, 33, was confident the batting would not slip against a much stronger attack compared to Pakistan’s.

“I don’t think we are past our prime. Everyone got runs against Pakistan, and the manner in which we got the runs is indicative of our form. It’s good that there is competition, and everyone in the group realises the importance of playing for the country.”

Source:Cricket News

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