VVS Laxman: The Finest Tributes

Yahoo! Cricket trawled the web for these fine pieces of writing on the Hyderababi stylist.


Sharga Ugra and Rohit Brijnath, Miracle Worker:

Laxman is the most unusual adversary in modern day sport. He neither spits nor swears. Caught in the hottest of sports in the middle order, he does not even seem to sweat. The 29-year-old Hyderabadi has a game and a personal grace that belong to another era.

He seems more a figure from the 1950s, tall, stork-like in whites, all angles at the crease until his bat makes its first sweeping move. From then on, all rules stand revoked. As the artist to Dravid's architect, the two have scored 1,000 runs together.

Dileep Premachandran, The Afterthought

In a country where actors who can’t emote for nuts are considered ‘great’ while those who can are relegated to ‘art films’, it’s no surprise that Laxman hasn’t always been given his due. Only when he walks away, taking with him that zenlike calm and pristine timing, will we appreciate his true worth. When the new kids on the block flounder as the ball rears towards the throat, some of us will sigh wistfully and think of how different it was with a very very special player.

Kunal Pradhan, Very Very Sorry, Laxman

But despite an endearing personality and the unique ability to mesmerise his audience with just one stroke, as opposed to an entire innings, Laxman remains the most forgettable great cricketer of our generation. Whenever he’s become flavour of the month – like after his four one-day hundreds in 2004, his 2008 century in Sydney, and last week after a match-winning ton in Colombo – I’ve wondered what it is about him that makes him so unappreciated, so unloved by the endorsement market, so utterly dispensable that his place in the team comes under threat in a six-month cycle...

... While not being given his rightful place in history may still be an acceptable fate, the greater travesty is that Laxman hasn’t always been given the respect he deserves by his own era. With a one-day career that was cut short, and a T20 career that never started, there is the constant need for people to be reminded about his value when a Test tour comes along.

Peter Roebuck, The Genius & The Doubter

His career has been a compelling tale of greatness remaining locked away in the mind till the call comes and then emerging and laying waste before retreating back into its shell. As far as cricket is concerned Laxman is a warrior by instinct and a man of peace by manner. The conflict has made his career fascinating and frustrating. His genius is peculiar and requires the most particular conditions. His greatness lies in the fact that those conditions are the toughest not the easiest. He is an artist whose strength lies not in his artistry but in his competitive spirit.

Soutik Biswas, A Toast To Very Very Special Laxman

Monday's was a classic Laxman performance - the "stylist in strife" , as one commentator once called him, and match winner extraordinaire carrying off his job with customary aplomb.

He walks in with a runner, his back sore and wracked with spasms. Half his side is gone for 76 runs, chasing a target of 216 on a decaying track against a gritty, if unspectacular, Australian attack. Defiant, sinuous and brisk in his strokeplay, he keeps putting the runs on the board, losing partners quickly before he finds an unusually responsible batsman in bowler Ishant Sharma. He stays unbeaten with 73 and takes India over the line. And when one of the most closely fought games in Test cricket ends, he walks back with a big, disarming smile, as he often does after fetching India an impossible victory. It is no big deal.


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