Hyderabad: Indian cricketer Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman`s 16-year Test journey came to an end after the Hyderabadi cricketer announced his retirement at a press conference today around 4:00 PM at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Laxman was picked in the Indian squad for the two-match Test series against New Zealand beginning here from August 23, but surprisingly chose to hang his boots with immediate effect without taking the opportunity to bow out of international cricket in front of his home crowd.
““It was a tough decision to take, I have always listened to my inner conscience. The inner voice is a divine voice, I have always done that right through my career. There was a lot of debate in the last four days. I feel it is the right time to move on. It is the right time to give the opportunity for youngsters at home. It has been an emotional and memorable journey for me,” he told to media.
The Right Handed batsman has played 134 Tests, amassing 8,781 runs with an good average of of 45.97. He scored 17 hundreds and 56 half centuries in the longer format of the game.There was no doubt that he wasn’t an ideal batsman for ODIs as he lacked the big-hitting ability and his fielding was always on the heavier side. So he was not a regular in India’s ODI team, played 86 matches scored 2338 runs at an average of 30.76. Unfortunately for him, he could never be a part of India’s World Cup campaigns which remains one of his biggest regrets.
Laxman got his first Test half-century in the second innings of his debut match against the South Africans in 1996. However, it took him another 29 innings before he got his first Test hundred – a remarkable 167 against Australia in the Sydney Test.His remarkable inning was against team Australia where he smashed 281 runs. This is also the highest score from him in any individual inning.
Apart from highest score inning, he also has shown his worth in many crucial situations too. One other remarkable knock from VVS Laxman that is fresh in the minds of cricket fans was against the Aussies at Mohali in 2010 when he scored a superb 73 not out from just 79 balls to help India pull off a stunning victory chasing 216. Laxman with the help of the no.10 Ishant Sharma and no.11 Pragyan Ojha took India to victory despite the hosts getting reduced to 122 for 7 in the run chase. He has set many other such examples and he was always considered as backbone of the team.
“I have always kept my country’s success and need ahead of my personal aspirations. And while I would love contributing to the team’s success, especially against England and Australia, I think this is the right to give opportunity to the youngsters in home conditions ahead of international assignments”, he said.
Although he has quit the international cricket, but his drives and cuts will always be remembered by the cricket fans.