Bangalore, Aug 19: Cheteshwar Pujara won his India Test cap because of VVS Laxman. It was in October, 2010 that Pujara was drafted into the playing XI in place of the injured Laxman. But, on his memorable day, Pujara was shocked to hear something from the senior pro.
Do you know what Laxman told Pujara on the morning of the youngster's first Test match in Bangalore?
It was nothing but a simple "sorry." But why did Laxman apologise to Pujara? Read on.
Known for his exceptional behaviour on and off the field, Laxman said "sorry" to Pujara as he had made him wait till the last minute to know whether he was playing or not.
"His (Laxman) fitness test was at 8:30am, an hour before the match was to begin. At 9:15am, I was told that I would be making my debut in his place. But what was even more surprising for me than making my Team India debut was the fact that Laxman bhai came up to me and apologised. 'Sorry', he said to me. 'Sorry to make you wait until the last minute to find out.' Being such as senior man, I was not expecting that gesture from him. More than anything, it showed his simplicity as a human being," Pujara told "Indian Express" newspaper on Saturday.
Pujara paid rich tributes to Laxman, who retired from international cricket on Saturday.
Pujara added: "VVS Laxman, or Laxman bhai for us, was the most approachable man in the Indian team. He was also easily the most friendly. And it was due to him that I got to make my Test debut when I did against Australia in Bangalore.
I remember quite clearly that Laxman bhai had played a fantastic knock in the first Test at Mohali, despite his back injury. But as his physical situation got worse, he had to pull out of the Bangalore game. And that's when I came in."
It was on October 9, 2010 that Pujara made his Test debut at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. He played a crucial knock of 72 in the fourth innings to guide India to victory.
Pujara will forever remember Laxman and when he will missing the Hyderabadi's guidance.