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VVS Laxman turns 44: Here's 5 Very Very Special innings

Former India batsman VVS Laxman turns 44 this day

Bengaluru, November 1: VVS Laxman, the batting artist, turned 44 on Thursday
(November 1). From a boy who aspired to become a doctor, Laxman grew into one of the finest batsmen of India - match-winner and match-savior rolled into one.

Here's MyKhel looking back at some of the classics played by Laxman during his illustrious career.

1. 281 Vs Australia, Kolkata, 2001

1. 281 Vs Australia, Kolkata, 2001

The epic. After securing a massive 274-run lead, Steve Waugh's Australia enforced follow-on and only one result looked possible. A series clinching win for the Antipodeans after their victory in Mumbai. But Laxman and Rahul Dravid added 376 runs to declare at 657 for seven. Spinners and pacers were dealt away mercilessly yet gracefully. India eventually won the match and later the series in Chennai. Laxman's name was embossed in the sheets of history permanently.

2. 103 Vs Sri Lanka, Colombo, 2010

2. 103 Vs Sri Lanka, Colombo, 2010

Chasing 257 for a win in the fourth innings is not an easy task. It becomes even tougher if the opponents are Sri Lanka at their home. Offie Suraj Randiv was on top of his game leaving Laxman, who was struggling with back spasms, with some work to do when he entered the field at 62 for four after nightwatchman Ishant Sharma's dismissal. What followed was a masterclass in batting against spin and Laxman's ton carried India home eventually.

3. 96 Vs South Africa, Durban, 2010

3. 96 Vs South Africa, Durban, 2010

56 for four. The stage was set for Laxman to don the robes of Houdini. He did it with an impeccable 96. Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Jacques Kallis and Lonawabo Tsotsobe, the quartet capable of quality fast bowling, were tackled with panache and grit. A well-deserved hundred might have eluded him, but the innings led India to an 87-run win over Proteas.

4. 73 n.o. Vs Australia, Mohali, 2010

4. 73 n.o. Vs Australia, Mohali, 2010

India were reduced to 124 for eight chasing 216. But Laxman, who else it could be, stood between Australia and a victory with a mini classic. He and Ishant Sharma took India within 11 runs of a win before the latter was jettisoned. Laxman in the company of Pragyan Ojha rattled up the remaining runs. But not before Laxman so uncharacteristically lost his cool at Ojha for some clueless running.

5. 148 Vs Australia, Adelaide, 2003

5. 148 Vs Australia, Adelaide, 2003

This was an opera played around a grand ballet. Laxman joined his old mate Dravid when India were at 85 for four after Australia made 556. It was Kolkata 2001 all over again as they added 303 runs for the fifth wicket to take India to 523. Laxman made a silken 148 and Dravid an unbeaten 233. In the second innings too, Dravid made an unbeaten 72 and Laxman made a quick 32 off 34 balls with six fours as India hunted down 233 for a rare overseas win.

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    Story first published: Thursday, November 1, 2018, 13:31 [IST]
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