Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sincere Thanks to Very Very Special Laxman

'Retired Hurt' is the frequently used tag doing the rounds in response to VVS Laxman's retirement from the Indian cricket Team from the Indian Media and legion of fans. In their eyes he has been pushed into retirement by an administration that has already been so willing to sacrifice him on many occasions and been so critical of him when he has failed.

The truth of the matter in my eyes is that the 'Very Very Special' One is a transcendent figure who rises above this type of malaise and churlish muck. With him being true to a reasoning that the Indian masses have no concept or understanding of....

"I think it is time to give youngsters a chance at home ahead of a tough season. I have always kept the country's success ahead of personal aspirations." 

Transition and giving youngsters a go in a Country of fanatical fans who hold onto their greats like a child holds on tight to their favourite Teddy Bear

Is never going to be digested by the Indian fanzine- is it?

But that is Laxman, a figure that is so symbolised of his selfless nature and about knowing about what is needed in any situation. We saw that in his every second of sublime mastery at the crease and inherently in his good bye speech..

"Requires a very special man to turn his back on a grandstand end and accept the moment has come. Rose in my eyes if he could any more."
Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle 

Too true!

For Laxman knew of the crucial need of new blood in the Team, and a perfect time to blood it against a lesser light, but though it was unspoken you knew that the distress he showed was also about him realising it was time. His struggles in his virtual dominion of Australia showed that with the break down of his leg side mastery being the neon lights blinking on it. We who idolise him were left in stunned silence with his ill at ease at putting away half volleys on leg stump. When at his peak before you blinked there would have been the characteristic flick of the wrists with the ball rattling the pickets at a rate of knots

Hopefully passed off as a form slump, but known as a combination of the slurring of his previously cat like reactions and the aches and breaks in his body feeling no longer  like a tick in his ear but rather resembling a constant hammer blow in his subconscious that he could no longer deal with. Suggesting it was time to put his feet up in the comforts of home in retirement.

Heartbreak in seeing him like that, but it merely forced you to accept that nothing lasts forever and gave you reason to reminisce on his mastery

Where do you start in trying to capture his immortal essence in words?

I think for me it begins with everything you can search out and find about his play being really a deception of reality and a thin veneer of truth

Constantly referred to in definition as 'elegant' in honour of his supreme majesty but ask yourself how many times have to you heard his other many stellar characteristics lauded?

Try to recollect a time when his toughness, grit and unshakable resolve were spoken of in glowing terms, and in regards to them he is every bit the equal of his ex Team mate 'The Wall' Rahul Dravid

Even the 'style' within his pre eminent style is rarely touched on

You just have to reminisce on his miraculous 281 in 2001 that lead India to a victory for the ages against Australia to realise this. No doubt, if not the best innings ever in the the games history it is certainly in the discussion due to its sheer completeness of batsmanship of both front and back foot dexterity, perfect technique and Zen like temperament. With it being scored with all hope lost and the pressure being applied by one of the best bowling attacks ever in Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Jason Gillespie.

He was dismissive of all these greats, but not in a typically modern day manner of risky bludgeoning, but in a surgical dissection using homage to batting purism. Every ball caressed to perfection, and never over hit with them always being on the ground and perfectly cutting a swath through the most stacked field. A bouncer from McGrath, back foot brilliance as he would hook and pull to the fence, Warne bowling into the rough with his fizzing spin and a stacked off side field greeted with a violent flick of the wrists and a red blur through the empty leg side.
It must be said effortless was how he played Warne with some of Master leggies aghast looks telling the true tale of Laxman's sincere genius

He certainly loved beating up on those all conquering Aussies, which in itself is a misnomer about him. As seen in
 his figures with an average of 45.97 with 17 centuries that would compliment most, but belies Laxman's true ability as seen so often against the regal Aussies. If he had an accountants yearn for figures he could have easily been a player with an average of 55 with double the centuries. But he was never one to be dedicated to the meaningless which reeked of mundane boredom, rather his calling card was when there was a need for the truly memorable and miraculous.

In those circumstances, you always knew Laxman would be there..........

Which was his true reputation in his 15 year career and will be the basis of his immense legacy


  1. Really Indian Cricket team and world cricket has lost a gem ..a perfect e.g. of Wristy Batsman ...he had the wrist which spelled the magic in the field and scared the bowlers .......awesome man and awesome cricketer. Not only Indian players but any cricket playing person must watch him and learn to keep ease even in fourth innings and can score 281 .... God Of Fourth Innings

    1. Very true Ranesh, VVS was truly a gem in all regards, and truly great. Call me crazy, but if you made me choose between Dravis, Tendulkar or VVS....

      Without hesitation VVS every time