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I get a lot of inspiration from the Jawans: VVS Laxman on overcoming physical setbacks on the field

Laxman batted with back spasm during his epic knock of 281.

 

VVS Laxman India
VVS Laxman. (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP) (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Whenever the history of Indian Test cricket- or Test cricket in general per-say- it would never be completed without the mention of that epic 2001 India vs Australia Test played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. And, for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Indian cricket was in dire-straits; people have written them off after an embarrassing three-day loss in the first Test in Mumbai, and secondly Australia under-Steve Waugh was a mean-winning juggernaut who had only one thing in their mind: Nailing the ‘final frontier’

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And, they were just six wickets away from doing what no Australian team of the past 32 years had done: Beat India in India. But two men- VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid- had different ideas. They wanted to script history. They wanted to carve themselves into history. And, they did that with aplomb as the artist masquerading as a Test match batsman VVS Laxman, painted the Eden Gardens with sumptuous strokeplay even as the Wall gritted it out at the other end.

VVS Laxman reveals how he overcame severe back spams during his epic 281 vs Australia

That 376-run-partnership was a masterclass of the highest proportion. And, what makes it even more special apart from the fact that it came against the best attack at the time and under the direst of circumstances, is both Laxman and Dravid were battling with physical issues.

In a candid chat with India Today, VVS Laxman revealed as to how he was suffering from severe back spasms leading into the Kolkata Test. When asked on how he overcame such physical issues during his career, Laxman revealed that every time he encountered such issues, he would think of the Army ‘Jawans’ who overcome physical pains far more greater than what a sportsman endures on a cricket field, while defending the country on the borders.

“I came into a Test match with back spasm and Rahul was struggling with viral fever. He had a bad tendency of cramping. He used to lose a lot of fluid. Plus it was hot and humid in Kolkata in March. So when physically it becomes challenging, your mental toughness comes to the fore and there are various ways to motivate yourself,” Laxman told India Today.

He added, “The easiest way for me is that you are representing your country. There are so many people who are your well-wishers, who love this sport, who are looking forward to you to do good. And also, I get a lot of inspiration from the Jawans, they sacrifice so much to safeguard our borders. They do not think about their health, physical pain. So, there are various ways to get inspiration. For me, it is more about representing your country. So it is about thinking about the jawans who endured the pain.”

India eventually turned the tables on Australia and then went on to win a low-scoring thriller in Chennai to win the series 2-1.

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