Bangalore, Aug 20: India's The Wall, Rahul Dravid who shared many historic knocks with VVS Laxman, who announced his retirement on Sunday said the stylish Hyderabad batsman, loved challenges the most.
Dravid also said that he was in touch with Laxman after his retirement, as the latter was contemplating on retirement, but Dravid was a little surprised at the timing as the stylish batsman was picked for the Test series against New Zealand.
"We had spoken a few times after I had retired but I must admit that I was a little surprised at the timing (of the decision to quit), in the sense that he had been selected for the Tests against New Zealand," Dravid told TOI on his return from London.
"But then we have to respect his decision, after all he is the best judge. The thing is he always played for the right reasons, right things. Perhaps he felt he was compromising some of that," said Dravid.
Dravid also felt that Laxman might have thought he needs to give youngsters a chance to represent the country.
"It must have started crossing his mind that there are some youngsters who needed a look-in."
Dravid added that Laxman will have the respect of cricketers throughout the world, as he was a fantastic cricketer and a nice guy throughout his career.
"There is no doubt in my mind that he always had the respect of players across the world, be it his teammates or opponents. He was not only a nice guy but a fantastic cricketer, that was well known."
Remembering a few moments spent together, Dravid said Laxman reminds him of balance, ability to smile in all kinds of situations, ability to bounce back.
"I will also remember him most for his sense of balance while batting, his ability to keep smiling whatever the situation and the tenacity to keep bouncing back."
Since Dravid has been associated with the batting stalwart many a times, as he has played many match-winning knocks with Laxman said that the two represented India in a highly successful era of Test cricket which also reflected in their success and praised Laxman for his contribution to Indian cricket.
"All I can say is that Laxman played in a highly successful era of Test cricket for India and played a big role in that success, both with his performance on the field and personality off it," Dravid said.