New Delhi: India Test captain Anil Kumble said it was unfair to keep V V S Laxman always in doubt of his place in the side in longer version of the game despite doing well for the team time and again.
Laxman top-scored with 72 and shared a 115-run stand with MS Dhoni for the sixth wicket to give a crucial 45-run first innings lead against Pakistan in the first Test here which India won by six wickets. He remained not out on six in the second innings.
''Why there was always a sword hanging over his (Laxman's) head? He is a class player and has come up with match-winning performances,'' Kumble told reporters at the post-match press conference.
''Laxman's knock (in the first innings) was crucial considering the circumstances,'' Kumble added.
India were at 88 for four when Laxman came in at the fall of Sourav Ganguly and were 95 for five after Rahul Dravid was out for 38. From then onwards, Laxman and Dhoni rebuilt the hosts' innings with a fine rear guard batting display to help India reach 276 all out in the first innings.
Laxman, who has a batting average of 43.36 from 84 Tests, has had some match-winning performances for India, the most famous being the magnificent 281 against Steve Waugh's Australian side, which eventually helped India win after following on in the Kolkata Test in 2001.