Laxman lauds RP's 'commendable' knock

Published: Friday, January 18, 2008, 17:11 [IST]
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Perth: Indian batsman V.V.S. Laxman praised the support of his batting partners after the Indian tail put on 134 potentially critical runs in the third Test against Australia at the WACA Ground on Friday.

After leading by 118 from the first innings, India slumped to 160 for six in their second innings, but with Laxman anchoring the resistance with 79, they recovered to reach 294 and extend their lead to 412.

That left the Australians having to produce the second biggest run chase in Test history to notch up the world record 17th straight Test win they covet.

Wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni made 38 and put on 75 for the seventh wicket with Laxman, while number 10 R.P. Singh exceeded all expectations in making his highest Test score of 30 in adding 51 for the ninth wicket to push the lead beyond 400.

Laxman praised the pair for their efforts, describing his partnership with Dhoni as crucial and saying it was a mature knock from the wicketkeeper-batsman.

"It was very important to build up a partnership and that's what we tried to achieve," he said. "It was a very important partnership because it got the momentum back to us. I think that partnership was very critical.

"Dhoni, I think he played a very mature knock.

"The last six to eight months he's played some important innings for the country, and even today he hung in there not playing his free style and... and played to the situation the team was in."

Laxman was also delighted with Singh, whose previous best at Test level was 17.

"The effort should be really commended because he was playing against Australian quick bowlers on a Perth wicket and the way he showed determination and grit was amazing," he said. "A truly commendable knock."

Laxman has produced many of his best performances against Australia, including his memorable 281 in Kolkata in 2001 to help snap their previous record 16-Test winning streak.

Laxman said he took extra personal satisfaction from performing at his best under pressure.

Only once before in Test history has a team scored more than 412 to win in the fourth innings of a Test, when the West Indies made 418 for seven against Australia in Antigua in 2003.


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