Missing out on 2003 World Cup was shattering: VVS Laxman

Missing out on 2003 World Cup was shattering: VVS Laxman

"I don’t blame anybody though there."

VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman would mostly be remembered as one of the greatest batsmen India have ever produced in Test cricket. The memories of his knock of 281 against Australia at Eden Gardens in Kolkata is still pretty afresh. However, the 44-year-old was also an effective batsman in the One Day format, albeit he strained throughout to cement his position in the ODI team.

The Hyderabad-born cricketer donned the national colours in 86 ODIs in which he notched 2338 runs at an average of 30.76 with as many as six centuries. While his international career came to an end in January 2012, Laxman last played ODI cricket against South Africa at Centurion in 2006. The veteran also didn’t get the chance of representing the nation in any World Cup.

Recently, ahead of the launch of his autobiography ‘281 and Beyond’, the experienced campaigner went down the memory lane and reminisced the time when he was left out of the national squad for the 50-overs World Cup in the African continent.

“I was determined to play the World Cup — not being part of it was shattering. In a series, prior to that, I was the highest scorer. I don’t blame anybody though there was a time I thought of leaving the game. Luckily, there was a five-month gap after the World Cup, and there was time for recovery,” Laxman was quoted as saying in The Times of India (TOI).

I used to be consistently dropped from the side

India, captained by the legendary Sourav Ganguly, did exceptionally and progressed to the final of the mega event. Unfortunately, Ricky Ponting’s century robbed them of the title as they lost the final at the iconic Wanderers in Johannesburg. During the event, they managed to get the better of every other opponent and only lost twice against the Aussies.

On the other hand, Laxman made a stupendous comeback and scored a jaw-dropping century against Australia in Gwalior. He followed it up with three more centuries in the triangular series, involving Australia and Zimbabwe. The right-hander turned out to be the second-highest run scorer in the series after Adam Gilchrist with 443 runs in 10 matches.

“I used to be consistently dropped from the side after two or three failures. I used to be called a non-regular opener. I was not enjoying that tag and being in and out of the side. I wanted to win matches for the country, and for that to happen I had to score runs consistently which was possible only if I was in the middle-order. In 2000, I decided I was not going to open anymore,” he added.

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