Former Indian skipper and 'Wall' of Indian cricket Rahul Dravid has termed VVS Laxman's 281 against Australia in 2001 as the best knock by an Indian in Test cricket. Speaking at the launch of '281 and Beyond', India's U-19 coach revealed how he felt standing at the other end when Laxman was hitting the likes of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath of Jason Gillespie to all corners of the field.
"Without a doubt, I think, the 281 was probably one of the most significant and greatest innings played by an Indian cricketer, in terms of the context, the consequence, the innings was played in. I really had the best seat in the house for the greatest Indian innings ever played. I was still imagining him and visualising him, stepping outside the leg-stump and hitting Shane Warne through the covers, for a ball that is pitched yards outside the legs-stump. Or to be able to flick a ball on the middle and off-stump on a turning track in Kolkata, across the line, against a great bowler like Shane Warne," Dravid said at an event.
India were following-on and staring at a huge defeat in the second Test between India and Australia in Kolkata, before the two batsmen shared a 376-run stand between them. The partnership helped India post a big score on the board, which paved for a victory in the match and in the series.
Just over a week back, former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, who was captaining the team in that very match, spoke about Laxman's special innings. He mentioned telling Laxman to change the name of the book, given his knock of 281 saved Ganguly's captaincy career.
"I told him it was not the apt title... It should have been '281 and beyond and that saved Sourav Ganguly's career'. I strongly opposed the title because if he had not scored 281, we would have lost the Test and I would not have been captain again. I also texted him a month back but he didn't reply," Dada chuckled at the autobiography launch in Kolkata.
(With inputs from PTI)