October 5th 2010 would be a historic day in the annals of Indian cricketing history. It is a day of redemption for even the most disinterested of cricket fan’s. When every cricket fan had give up hopes for an Indian win, after seeing the fall of wickets of Tendulkar, Dhoni on Day 5 of the first test between India and Australia, the underdog barked the loudest. He barked the loudest not through “sledging” that one Mr. Ricky Ponting and his team of ten are notoriously famous for, but by unleashing it through his performance on the field.
The underdog was none other than VVS Laxman.Though he has rescued Indian Test Cricket from multiple humiliating losses to improbable win’s or draws, he is still an underdog for multiple reasons
- He has always been under rated as a cricketer barring Tests. In Tests he has done exceptionally well in both – the second innings and also against the Aussies.
- In this test, he was battling back spasms and did not bat much. So he was under condition, if I may take liberty of the English language and coin a new word. He was more like a last man for the second innings. He put all those pains behind and indeed caught everyone by surprise and kept his cool to see us through to win this test match.
- He is under standing : He stands and delivers when ‘ The Wall’ crumbles, “The God” fails or the entire pack of Indian batting line up fall like a pack of playing cards blown over by wind. The no. of runs he scores off the flick of his wrists (that reminds one of his senior, state mate and former Indian captian Azharuddin), in boundaries indeed don’t need him to run and earn the single but stand under the pressure and deliver. And for all the work he does, he is totally modest about it and is a rich chapter of humility that newer members in the Indian cricket team – like Yuvraj Singh, Srisanth and others need to learn hard. He never tried to unabashedly praise himself by undermining the contribution of others or made light conversations of his competitors.
If cricket can be treated as Ramayana, VVS Laxman is the new age Ram.
This Yuga in cricket – is the Kaliyuga - smeared by the domination from Australian cricket (which has almost ended) and the atrocities committed by them through sledging, racial slurs and other unruly ways on almost all cricketing teams in the world. Like an errant child who was let go off leniently by the teacher (read ICC and all the umpires), Australia have silently gotten ahead in their endeavors without being reprimanded by the ICC. It is now rather the end of this Kaliyuga as there are just too many nails in “Australia’s coffin as a winning team that could never loose”. These nails are majorly branded as “VVS Laxman”. However, it would be unfair if we don’t give the Aussies their due credit - the talent, passion and physical and mental toughness of the Aussies that has made them win games apart from their “Kaliyuga” tactics.
The Indian mythological character - Laxmana from Ramayana may have played second fiddle to Lord Ram, but in this Kaliyuga, VVS Laxman is the new age Ram. Today, even Lord Laxman may be proud of him to have overshadowed all other Ram’s in Indian cricket on the field – “Tendulkar”, “Sehwag”, “Dravid”, “Dhoni” etc.
It is a day of victory for a "Very Very Special" boy, who was from a family of Doctors (he is in fact also related to former President of India – Dr. Radhakrishnan) and was almost about to take the family business of being a doctor, when his passion for cricket made him take the unconventional step. There was indeed no looking back after that. He gave in all that he could to indeed form an equally strong quartet along with “Ganguly, Tendulkar, Dravid” who brought about the revival of Indian cricket after the match fixing allegations.
Laxman is a live case study for each one of us and indeed justifies:
- Why one should follow what his heart yearns for, even if it means breaking conventions
- Message of movie “3 Idiots": Walk out of the Rat Race and really make a difference to the world through something you are good at
- One need not be born talented. If you focus and have perseverance, you will be rewarded.
- Recognition, Fame, Money would be delayed, but not denied.
- One can stay soft spoken and be a true gentleman of the game and yet make the way word folks (read the Kaliyuga Aussies) bow down. A truly silent assasinator and graceful aggressor
Had he been a doctor, India may have lost him treating patients (which may not necessarily have made him happy, though he may have been good at it) in the interiors of Hyderabad or in UK, US or even Australia!
As someone nastily said – the last few words of Australian cricket captian - Ricky Ponting would be “Hey Laxman”, just as Mahatma Gandhiji’s last words were “Hey Ram.”
I would say, even if Ricky’s last words are “Hey Ram” he would still be right, as Laxman is really the new age Ram of cricket who tamed the “Dasamukha” (Ten faces/ team members of Aussie cricket team) of “Ravana” (read Australian cricket) in “Kaliyuga” (the age of the Australian cricket domination through their on field and off field tactics).
This blog was written at the request from my ex-colleague and great friend Gyan bhai - fondly called "Gyan Bhai".