Bridgetown, June 29: India's middle-order stalwart in Tests VVS Laxman, is frustrated that he missed adding another ton to his career stats. This, despite the fact that he played a pivotal role in India's second Test against the West India in the ongoing tour of the Caribbean.
Laxman got out when he was looking solid on 85, as a result of struggling to keep strike away from the vulnerable Indian tail. The visitors were thus, bowled out for 201.
"I have not converted many of my 50s into 100s and so you feel bad after having put in the hard work," said Laxman on his innings which also took him past a personal milestone of 8,000 Test runs.
It is true that in his 122-match career, Laxman has managed to reach the three-figure mark all of 16 times, when he could have converted several fifties to centuries. In the present Test, he concedes that he failed to farm strike effectively enough, which led to India's ondoing.
"Fidel (Edwards) was bowling with good pace and was reverse swinging his deliveries. He was bowling short-pitched balls and I wanted to take strike off him. Unfortunately my shot-selection wasn't ideal. I wanted to take the single and go to the other end.
Though Laxman believes that a better score was on the cards, he is impressed with the manner in which the Indian pace attack has swung the momentum India's way."If we had scored 250-300 it would have been very good", Laxman reflected. But the bowlers have got us right back into the match."
India has retaliated by knocking down three top-order Windies' wickets for 30 runs.
Laxman, who has found a groove after a poor couple of innings in the previous Test, points to the view that he has rediscovered his rhythm as a middle-order batsman.
"I didn't have the best of preparation in the first Test; we couldn't do proper net practice. So in that sense I was pleased here; my rhythm was much better and I had started to time the ball much better than in Jamaica."
Laxman spared some encouragement for the younger players who are part of the eleven in this Test match.
"(Suresh) Raina has improved a lot. He was quite comfortable in the middle against short-pitched bowling. He has already played two important knocks for us in this series.
"(Virat) Kohli was unlucky. The ball he got out to didn't bounce much. He is a fabulous player and has played some mature innings in tough conditions for us in one-dayers."
"The two openers, Murali (Vijay) and (Abhinav) Mukund, are very talented and in time to come, would be true match winners. Unfortunately the wickets in West Indies, for the first hour at least, are damp. With more experience, they would be fine," said Laxman.
Because of the openers' flop-show in both the Tests, Laxman has had to take guard as quickly as the seventh or eighth overs on this tour.