Former Australia skipper Ian Chappell recently named two of his all-time favourite innings against spin bowling and one of those is VVS Laxman’s iconic 281 run knock at the Eden Gardens in 2001.
Australia had India under the cosh back then, having enforced a follow-on, but thanks to Laxman and Rahul Dravid’s (180) brilliant partnership, the hosts went on to beat the Aussies, in a match that will forever be remembered as one of the best comebacks in cricketing history.
The Indian batsmen together put up a combined 376-run stand, and Chappell was particular ecstatic in the way how Laxman tackled the likes of Shane Warne during his innings.
VVS Laxman’s 281 among Ian Chappell’s all-time great knocks against spin
Chappell recently took a trip down the memory lane to name two of the best innings against high-quality spin bowling, as he named Laxman 281 alongside Dough Walter’s ton in Madras.
“The absence of any cricket (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) gives me an opportunity to reflect on an aspect of the game I enjoy: watching a batsman utilise good footwork to combat top-class spin bowling. Two innings stand out: one played by India’s VVS Laxman, the other by Doug Walters of Australia,” Chappell wrote in a column for ESPNcricinfo.
Chappell continued, “Laxman’s incredible 281 at Calcutta in 2001 is the best I’ve seen against top-class leg-spin. At the conclusion of that exhilarating series I asked Shane Warne how he thought he bowled, ‘I don’t think I bowled that badly,’ he replied. ‘You didn’t,’ I responded. “
Ian Chappell reveals VVS Laxman’s key to success
The 76-year-old, who played 75 Tests for Australia during his career from 1964-1980, went on to reveals Laxman’s key to success in that memorable knock at Eden Gardens, whilst also praising the Indian batsman’s temperament.
“If Laxman comes three paces out of his crease and hits an unbelievable on-drive against the spin and you then flight the next delivery a little higher and shorter to invite another drive and instead he quickly goes onto the back foot and pulls it, that’s not bad bowling. That’s good footwork,” Chappell wrote further.
“Laxman regularly did this during his 452-ball stay, in which he hit 44 boundaries. Therein lies a clue to Laxman’s success: he consistently hit the ball along the ground,” added the veteran.