Should Laxman have been taken on for SA ODIs?

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Published: Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 8:43 [IST]
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Should Laxman have been in SA ODIs?

With India's ODI line-up proving ineffectual and virtually impotent in the recently-concluded series in South Africa, the visitors certainly missed someone possessing the consummate vigour and fortitude of VVS Laxman. Of course, one could argue that ODIs need to be a platform for young blood, but when that blood is of an alkaline, innocuous variety, one has to turn to the old guard for direction again.

After all, India has often favoured experience and age over exuberance and youth. It's been the hallmark of Indian politics since time immemorial and if the Test side can be packed with veterans, then one should think of including more "old masters" in the one-day team as well.

Laxman fits the bill. He has served his time and earned his stripes. And though he may have played his last one-day match in Dec 2006 and has since ostensibly relinquished his ODI position for a permanent Test slot, it seems beyond a doubt that he should have been part of the ODI team in the Rainbow Nation over the last couple of weeks. Laxman is more than a Test specialist - he is an overseas specialist, with the kind of credentials that would take off a lot of hats.

He possesses one of the highest averages for an Indian batsman overseas in one-dayers. In 2003/04, he notched up three centuries in the VB Series down under, two coming against Australia. In fact, in that triangular series, he was the second highest run-getter (after Adam Gilchrist), with an aggregate of 443 from 10 matches, at an average of 63.28 and an impressive strike rate of 82.95.

If he could counter the pace and bounce of those Australian wickets, he could have definitely done a fair amount of damage in the Rainbow Nation as well, especially seeing his performance in the Tests in same country, just a couple of week earlier.


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