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A phoenix act: Story of Laxman~~s come back

Published: Thursday, May 6, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
 
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New Delhi:One of the world's leading batsmen VVS Laxman says that the turning point in his game had come with his decision not to open for India.

"The turning point was when I decided not to open. I was not being able to live up to my own expectations when I was opening," the stylish righthander said in an interview to Sportstar.

"I was in a dilemma. I was always a stroke player by nature and there I was trying to see the sheen off the ball. I was a bit confused. When I came lower, I could play my natural game," he said.

Laxman also said the "disappointment and hurt" that he felt when he was dropped from the World Cup squad last year would haunt him for the rest of his life.

"It was a difficult time for me. A lot of negative thoughts crept in. I had a chat with my uncle. He knows my game better that anybody's else. He analysed my shortcomings and how I could overcome them.

"The disappointment and hurt will always be there, throughout my life. I spent time with my school friends. They went out of their way to boost my morale. I went on a holiday to the United States, spent time with my friends," said the Hyderabad player.

Laxman, who has helped shape many a win for India, admitted that his running between the wickets could do with a little improvement.

"I admit that I was never a natural athlete. I really had to work hard on my fitness and try and improve in that aspect of the game. Luckily now I am much better though I can still improve."

While singling out Wasim Akram as the most difficult bowler because of the variations he had in his bowling, Laxman said he had improved upon his footwork against the pacemen.

"Batsmanship is an ongoing process of seeking improvement. There are aspects on which you work all the time. The more you move your feet, the more you are in control. This is something that I have worked on in the last 18 months. It is an ongoing process."

Laxman, who has scored 3584 runs in 53 Tests at an average of 46.54, also talked about the importance of shot selection in constructing an innings.

"After my 281 (against Australia in Kolkata in 2000), there was a phase where I was getting out in the 20s and 30s. I tried to curb certain shots. I think a lot for a batsman depends on stroke-selection. According to different situations, I change my shot-selection." Laxman, who has helped shape many a win for India, admitted that his running between the wickets could do with a little improvement.

"I admit that I was never a natural athlete. I really had to work hard on my fitness and try and improve in that aspect of the game. Luckily now I am much better though I can still improve."

While singling out Wasim Akram as the most difficult bowler because of the variations he had in his bowling, Laxman said he had improved upon his footwork against the pacemen.

"Batsmanship is an ongoing process of seeking improvement. There are aspects on which you work all the time. The more you move your feet, the more you are in control. This is something that I have worked on in the last 18 months. It is an ongoing process."

Laxman, who has scored 3584 runs in 53 Tests at an average of 46.54, also talked about the importance of shot selection in constructing an innings.

"After my 281 (against Australia in Kolkata in 2000), there was a phase where I was getting out in the 20s and 30s. I tried to curb certain shots. I think a lot for a batsman depends on stroke-selection. According to different situations, I change my shot-selection."

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