Full name Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman
Born November 1, 1974, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Current age 44 years 16 days
Major teams India, Deccan Chargers, Hyderabad (India), Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Lancashire
Nickname Very Special
Playing role Top-order batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm off break
Education Little Flower High School, St. John’s School
ALSO KNOWN IN THE WORLD
Vangipurapu Venkata Sai Lax man commonly known as V.V.S. Laxman (often VVS, and sometimes as very special”), is a former Indian and currently a cricket commentator.
Laxman was an aggressive right-hand batsman who played mostly in the lower middle order. He is known for his numerous match-winning and match-saving innings, and his special ability to consolidate unprecedented support from non-specialist tail-end batsmen to do this has accorded him a unique status among cricketing legends. Laxman performed outstandingly well against the best team of his time, Australia, and his knock of 281 against them in Eden is often considered as the greatest ever test-innings. In 2011, Laxman was awarded the award, India’s fourth highest civilian award.
Laxman is one of the few players to have played 100 Tests without ever playing. Despite being a relatively slow runner between wickets, Laxman compensated this with his masterful stroke play and a tremendous ability to counter-attack aggressive bowling and fielding tactics. However, throughout this career, he experienced an inexplicable conundrum of being asked to prove himself over and over and again to find a place in the national team.
In domestic cricket, Laxman represented Hyderabad. He also played for Lancashire in the English. He was also the captain of the Deccan Chargers team in the Indian League during its inaugural season. In 2002, he was named one of Wyden’s. Later, he played for the Kochi Tuskers IPL team.
Laxman was born in Hyderabad, Telangana. Lax man’s parents are noted physicians Dr. Santarem and Dr. Satyabhama of Vijayawada. Laxman is the great grandnephew of India’s second President Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
Laxman studied at the Little Flower High School, Hyderabad. Though he joined a medical school for his undergraduate studies, Laxman chose cricket as a career.
He married G. R. Shalala from Guntur, Computer Applications graduate, on 16 February 2004. They have two children – a son, Sarvajit and a daughter, Achinthya.
A Playing style and position
Laxman is known for his fluid style, technically sound and aggressiveness. Sambil BAL of ESPN Crincinfo writes: “At his sublime best, VVS Laxman is a sight for the gods. Wristy, willowy and sinuous, he can match – sometimes even better – Tendulkar for stroke play… [He] has the rare gift of being able to hit the same ball to either side. “He was equally skilled against both pace and spin, with great timing and outstanding ability to place the ball splitting the tightest field positions. Laxman was particularly skillful in using his wrists (reminiscent of his role model and fellow Hyderabad, Mohammed Azharuddin) that allowed him to place the same ball to different areas of the field.
Standing tall and still at the crease, Laxman had a keen awareness of the off-stump and a polished ability to dispatch the bad ball. He plays with a high elbow and a steady stance and a textbook technique with natural elegance and flair. At the start of his career, Laxman was rated as one of India’s best players of the hard (new) ball. However, Indian selectors played around with his batting positions, whenever India felt a lacuna regarding any batting number. He was forced to play in almost every position, including opening. Laxman found his home in the middle order, where he played most of his best innings, batting at numbers 3, 5 and 6. In a 2001 test against Australia and promoted to no. 3 in the second innings from his first innings position of 6, he scored 281 to take India to a huge lead after following on, resulting in a historic win, that also kick started an era of India’s dominance in test cricket. Though Laxman was ideally suited for No. 3, Rahul Dravid was always preferred over him to bat at one-down, while Sachem Tendulkar was established at No. 4. As a result, Laxman played around 63 per cent of his Test innings at No. 5 or 6. This meant that Laxman often found himself batting with tail-end batsmen, and is reflected in his final statistics, which show that he has a relatively high proportion of not out innings (34 of 225, or 15 per cent — for comparison, Tendulkar finished not out in around 10 per cent of his Test innings, and Dravid in 11 per cent). Nevertheless, Laxman batted particularly well with non-specialist lower-order batsmen, and was able, with their support, to save and win numerous matches for India.
Laxman made his Under-19 debut for India against Australia in February 1994.Batting at six, he made 88 in his debut innings against a bowling attack that consisted of Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie, both of whom were making their debuts too. In the second game of the series, Laxman scored an unbeaten 151 in the first innings and 77 in the second innings to help his team register a 226-run victory. He continued his good form as he scored 36 and 84 in the third game to end up as the leading run-scorer of the series. The Test series was followed by a 3-match ODI series, where he managed scores of 24, 22 and 77. Later in August that year, the India Under-19 team toured England for 2 ODIs and 3 Test matches. Laxman disappointed in the ODIs with scores of 20 and 5. However, in the first Test he struck 119 in the first innings, but did not get to bat in the second innings as India cruised to a 9-wicket win. He made only 28 in the second match and 4 in the third.
Laxman made his first-class debut for Hyderabad against Punjab in the quarter-final match of 1992–93 Ranji Trophy season. He scored a duck in the first innings and 17 in the second. He played only one match for Hyderabad in the next season, before getting dropped. However, he was named in the South Zone squad for the 1994-95 Duleep in the back of his impressive outings for India Under-19s, but he failed to score big in the tournament. In the following Ranji Trophy season, Laxman notched up 532 runs from five matches at an average of 76 scoring two centuries. In the semi-final of the Duleep Trophy of 1995-96 season against West Zone, Laxman scored 47 in the first innings and a spectacular 121 in the second innings, sharing a 199-run partnership with skipper Rahul Dravid. He had another brilliant Ranji season the next year, as he piled 775 runs in just 11 innings at an average of 86 with 3 centuries and a best of 203* that came against Karnataka in the semi-final, which Hyderabad eventually lost. He was picked to play for Rest of India against Karnataka in the Iran Cup and also in the Board President’s XI squad against the touring Australian team. He played only three matches in 1996-97 Ranji season, where he scored three half-centuries, before getting picked for the Indian Test team against South Africa.
After the tests he joined Lancashire as their overseas player in place of Brad Hodge. He played in five games of the county championship and showed glimpses of his sublime batting. In their final County Championship game of 2007, against Surrey at the Oval, Laxman scored a century in the second innings in which Lancashire were chasing 489 to win. They just missed out by 25 runs and subsequently lost the Championship to Sussex. His performance for Lancashire was good with 380 runs scored in 5 matches at an average of 54.28 with 2 centuries and 2 half-centuries.
Laxman was supposed to replace Adam Voge for Nottinghamshire, but this move was vetoed by the BCCI due to the fact that there were players from the rival Indian Cricket League playing for Nottinghamshire.
Indian Premier League
Laxman was originally named as the Icon Player for his home franchise Deccan Chargers before the first season of the IPL. But he gave up the Icon Player status in a bid to allow his team spend a bigger purse at the auction. The Deccan Chargers bought him and named him the captain for the first season. However, Laxman dropped himself from the team halfway through the season, after the team had a horrendous run in the tournament. Adam Gilchrist took over as captain and led the side in the next two seasons as well; Laxman did score 155 runs from the 6 games that he played at an average of 31 and strike rate of 118. He batted at 3 in the first few games before opening the innings with Gilchrist in some matches where he found more success. His only half-century of the tournament (52 off 44) came against Royal Challengers Bangalore. He did score a couple more fluent innings that season including an unbeaten 37 from 26 balls against Mumbai Indians and 48 from 34 balls against Kings XI Punjab. However, he struggled with the bat in the next two seasons and sat out the tournament after playing only 5–6 matches.
At the mega-auction in 2011, Laxman was bought by the newly formed franchise of Kochi Tuskers Kerala. This time, though, he was injured after the first three games and missed the rest of the season. In the first match against Royal Challengers, he opened the innings with Brendon McCullum and scored an attractive 36 from 29 deliveries. But, the Kochi franchise was terminated later that year and all the players of the team were put in the auction in 2012. However, Laxman, who had a base price of $400,000, found no buyers and he couldn’t participate in the 2012 edition of the tournament. Then in IPL 2013, he was appointed as a mentor for Sunrises Hyderabad Team.
Early years (1996–2000)
Laxman made his Test debut in 1996 against South Africa at Ahmedabad, scoring a fifty in the second innings of the match. In the second game at Kolkata, he scored 14 and 1. He played just one Test in the South African tour the following month and was unable to cement his place in a star-studded Indian middle order. Instead, he was asked to open the innings, starting in West Indies in 1997. At Kingston, he scored 64 in his first innings as opener. However, he averaged only 28 in that series playing as an opener. But intermittently continued in this role for nearly three years, but without any consistent success. In 1998 at Calcutta, he scored 95 against Australia opening the innings with Navajo Sidhu who scored 97. India went on to win the match by an innings and 219 runs. Though he was selected in the Test squad that toured New Zealand in 1998, he did not get to play a single game as Ajay Jadeja was preferred over Laxman to open the innings with Sidhu. Laxman scored a duck on his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in the Pepsi Tri-Series in 1998. He had a horrible run in the ODIs in 1998 which resulted in him getting dropped from the ODI team for more than a year. Against Pakistan in 1999, he scored just 66 runs from two Tests, averaging a modest 16. In the first match of the Asian Test Championship later that year, Laxman scored 67 against Pakistan, but failed to score consistently, before getting dropped from the Test team as well.
Laxman returned to playing first-class cricket in 1999 to regain his place in the national team. In the 1999–2000 season of Ranji Trophy, he broke the record for most runs in a Ranji season when he made 1415 runs, at an average of 108, in just 9 matches notching up eight hundreds – a record that still remains intact. His performance was rewarded when, in January 2000, he was recalled in the Indian squad for the Australian tour. He scored 167 in the third and final Test match at Sydney when the rest of the batsmen struggled to cope with Glenn McGrath’s destructive bowling, a rare high point for India in an otherwise disastrous tour. Despite this success against an attack containing both McGrath and Shane Warne, Laxman apparently decided that he would return to domestic cricket, rather than continue playing as opener, a role which he believed did not suit him. As a result, Laxman was out of the Test team for nearly a year. He was recalled in late 2000, and also found a spot in the side for the home series against Australia in 2001.
Golden series (2001 against Australia)
Lax man’s career changed dramatically in the 2001 home series against Australia. In the first Test at Mumbai, Laxman made 20 and 12, as the entire Indian batting line-up, with the exception of Sachin Tendulkar, capitulated, leading to a 10-wicket defeat. This was Australia’s 16th consecutive Test win and extended their own world record.
In the next Test at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, however, Laxman produced a match-winning and series-turning performance. After scoring 59 in the first innings, Laxman shot to fame with an extraordinary knock of 281 in the second innings when under tremendous pressure and with Australia looking set for a crushing 17th win in a row. He broke Sunil Gavaskar’s long standing Indian Test record score. This remained the highest ever by an Indian until it was eclipsed by VI render Sehwag’s triple ton against Pakistan in Multan in March 2004.The innings also contributed to a record partnership of 376 with Rahul Dravid who made 180 and together they survived the whole 4th day. Lax man’s performance was of enormous consequence: India had been on the brink of an innings defeat but went on to win the Test and the series, denying Steve Waugh’s conquest of the “final frontier”. This was only the third time in the history of cricket that a team had managed to win a Test after being forced to follow on. It has become one of the most celebrated tales of Indian cricket, and the innings is ranked the sixth best Test innings ever by Wisden Cricketers’ Almanac At the time, the pitch was taking significant turn, and to negate Laxman free scoring, Australian leg spinner Shane Warne pitched his deliveries into the footmarks outside leg stump. However, such was lax man’s play that he consistently drove the ball through long on for boundaries against the spin, something that is considered to be technically dangerous. When Warne attempted to stop Laxman from scoring by defensively stationing most of the fielders on the leg side (leg theory) and bowling outside leg stump, Laxman proceeded to skip down the pitch and drive Warne inside-out through the vacant off side, hitting through the line of a substantially turning ball. Warne later admitted that he was clueless as to how to stop Laxman.
Laxman went on to score 65 and 66 in the third and the final Test match, which India won by 2 wickets and won the series 2–1. Laxman had great amount of success batting at No.3 in the ODI series that followed the Tests, as he scored 45, 51, 83, 11 and 101 in the five games, thus cementing his spot in the ODI line-up as well. In the Coca-Cola Tri-Series later that year in Sri Lanka, Laxman scored 212 runs in 7 matches with two fifties and a decent average of 36.
Permanent member (2002–2004)
Laxman then cemented his place both in the Test and one day teams for a few years. After bad performances in the Test series against Zimbabwe, he did well in the first two ODIs scoring 75 and 52, but couldn’t convert the starts into big knocks in the next three matches. Laxman managed to score a fighting 89 in the second Test at Port Elizabeth, when the rest of the team struggled to survive against Shaun Pollock’s deadly bowling, helping his team put up 201 on the board and avoid an embarrassing follow-on. Against the touring England in late 2001, he scored 75, sharing a 100-plus run partnership with Tendulkar to take his team out of trouble. He had a great tour of West Indies, as he scored 474 runs in 8 innings at an average of 79. He had scores of 69, 69*, 74, 1, 43, 130, 65* and 23 in that series. He performed reasonably well during West Indies tour of India as well, particularly in the third match at Kolkata, where he scored 48 and 154*. He followed it up with brilliant showing in the 7-match ODI series as well with scores of 47, 99, 66 and 71 in the first five games. But his form dropped during India’s tour of New Zealand in 2002-03. In the first Test at Wellington, he got a pair and in the second match he could score only 23 and 4. However, he had a brilliant 2-match Test series against the same team in India as he scored a half-century along with 44 in the first Test and 104* and 67* in the second match. He won the Man of the Series award for his impressive batting performances in the two Test match series. In October 2003, he scored 102 in the first ODI against Australia at Gwalior, sharing a 190-run second wicket partnership with Tendulkar. However he failed to deliver on a consistent basis in ODIs. He continued to perform well against Australia, especially during India’s tour of Australia in 2003–04, in which he hit three ODI and two Test centuries. He was involved in two century partnerships, one with Tendulkar and the other with Dravid, in the Brisbane ODI against Australia where he remained unbeaten on 102. His 106* against the same opponents at Sydney saw him put up a fourth-wicket partnership of 213 runs with Yuvraj Singh, who scored his career-best 139. In the next ODI against Zimbabwe, Laxman scored a 138-ball 131, once again setting up 2 hundred-run stands. He scored 148 in the famous Adelaide Test, sharing a triple century partnership with Rahul Dravid, which India won by 4 wickets. This was their first Test victory in Australia in two decades. His innings of 178 at Sydney also came in a triple century partnership, on this occasion with Sachin Tendulkar. India went on to post 705/7 in their first innings which is their highest total in Test cricket. Laxman scored a total of 494 runs from the 4 Tests at a staggering average of 82. During this series, Ian Chappell described Laxman as Very Very Special Laxman. His 107 (104) against Pakistan in the fifth and the final ODI at Lahore, helped India win by 40 runs and clinch the series 3–2.
Decline of form (2004–2005)
However, lax man’s form was on the decline since the series against Australia. Beginning with the series in Pakistan in 2004, Laxman had Test centuries to his credit, with one coming against a weak Zimbabwe side. He averaged just 31 in the Test series in Pakistan in 3 matches. His only half-century (71) came in a high-scoring game at Rawalpindi where India made a mammoth 600 to win the game by an innings and 131 runs. He struggled to score in the ODI series in England which put question marks over his future in the shorter format. He struggled against his favorite opponents Australia in the home series in October–November 2004, although his 69 in the low-scoring final Test at Mumbai was instrumental for India to record a consolation victory. He had a mixed Test series against Pakistan in 2005. He scored 58 in the first Test, 0 and 24 in the second and 79* and 5 in the third. He batted well in the Sri Lanka Test series scoring a fifty at Delhi and a crucial century (104) in the last match at Ahmedabad. Laxman was dropped after scoring a duck in the first Test against England at Nagpur in March 2006. He regained his place for the tour of the West Indies in place of the injured Tendulkar, and made a hundred in the third Test. He also scored a resilient 63 in the second innings to deny West Indies the victory in the same match. In ODIs, Laxman was left out persistently since Greg Chappell took over as coach in mid-2005, mainly on account of his slow ground fielding and running between the wickets; Laxman is a highly regarded close-catching fielder in stationary positions but in ODIs, these positions are generally disused except for the opening phases of the match, and players otherwise have to patrol substantial spaces and retrieve balls. Another reason was a perception that his batting is too one paced for ODI cricket and that he lacks the ability to score at a high rate as required when the batting team has the momentum, or in the closing stages of the innings. This was despite his superb form in Australia and Pakistan in early 2004, when he made four centuries in 14 games, including three in a week in the VB Series in Australia.
RETURN TO FORM
In December 2005, Laxman helped India to victory against Sri Lanka with a fine century. In June 2006, Laxman again rescued India from a difficult position against the West Indies with a gritty century. In November 2006, he was selected in the test squad for India’s tour of South Africa. In the first test in Johannesburg Laxman scored 73 in the second innings to help India claim a historic 123 run win. In the 2007 tour of England Laxman produced three good innings, two of which were half-centuries and a vital 39 that helped India draw the first test at Lords. He passed the 5000 run landmark in the first day of the final test.
In India’s home series against Pakistan in 2007, V.V.S. Laxman once again showed his importance to the team with a disciplined batting performance in the 1st Test at Delhi, as he scored 72* in dire circumstances. He then followed that innings of 72 in the first test with 112 in the second test. This ensured his place on the tour of Australia which would be his third to that country.
Lax man’s good form continued in the 2007-08 Test series against Australia with him scoring 109 against Australia on the second day of the controversial Sydney Test to put India back into the contest. It was his 12th hundred in Test matches, and his 5th against Australia. It was also his third
- Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award, 2011.
- Arjun Award, by the Government of India in recognition of his outstanding achievement in sports, 2001.
- Wisden Cricketer of the Year: 2002.
- VVS Lax man’s knock of 281 against Australia in Eden Gardens in 2001 has been rated as the greatest Test performance of the last 50 years.
- He is one of the few cricketers to score the most number of centuries in a single ODI series.
- His innings of 281 against Australia at Kolkata in 2001 was ranked sixth in wisdom’s list of 100 great Test innings in the history of the game.
- He has the record of taking the most number of catches (12) by a non-wicketkeeper in a single ODI series. He shares this record with Allan Border.
- He along with Rahul Dravid share the world record for the highest partnership (376 Runs) in 3rd innings of a test match for any wicket during a winning cause.
- Laxman is one of the six Indian test players in history to score 100 runs in a single session of a test match.
- Laxman is the second Indian player to score 1000 or more runs at a single ground. He scored 1217 runs at an average of 110.63 at Eden gardens.
- Only Indian to score 1000 runs at a single ground with an average more than 100.
- One of only 3 international players (and the only Indian player) to make an unbeaten fifty in both innings of a Test on more than one occasion (the others being Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Steve Smith).
- Laxman was awarded an honorary doctorate degree on 4 February 2015 by Teri University, New Delhi
OVERVIEW OF CAREER
Batting and fielding averages
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|1*||SRT Blasters||v Warne’s War||Los Angeles||14 Nov 2015||Other T20|
|8||SRT Blasters||v Warne’s War||New York||7 Nov 2015||Other T20|
|120||Hyderabad||v M. Pradesh||Hyderabad (Deccan)||9 Nov 2012||FC|
|23, 67||Hyderabad||v Punjab||Mohali||2 Nov 2012||FC|
|169||Hyderabad XI||v KSCA Pres. XI||Mysore||6 Aug 2012||Other|
|18, 35||India||v Australia||Adelaide||24 Jan 2012||Test # 2031|
|31, 0||India||v Australia||Perth||13 Jan 2012||Test # 2029|
|2, 66||India||v Australia||Sydney||3 Jan 2012||Test # 2027|
|2, 1||India||v Australia||Melbourne||26 Dec 2011||Test # 2025|
|15||Indians||v CA Chairman||Canberra||19 Dec 2011||Other|
OVERVIEW ON LIFE OF VVS LAXMAS
At his sublime best, VVS Laxman is a sight for the gods. Wristy, willowy and sinuous, he can match – sometimes even better – Tendulkar for stroke play. His on-side game is comparable to his idol Azharuddin’s, yet he is decidedly more assured on the off side and has the rare gift of being able to hit the same ball to either side. The Australians, who have suffered more than most, paid the highest compliment after India’s 2003-04 tour Down Under by admitting they did not know where to bowl to him. Laxman, a one-time medical student, finally showed signs of coming to terms with his considerable gifts in March 2001, as he tormented Steve Waugh’s thought-to-be-invincible Australians with a majestic 281 to stand the Kolkata Test on its head. But even though he had another wonderful series against the Australians in 2003-04 with two centuries, one of them involving a back-from-the-dead, match-winning, 300-plus partnership with Kolkata ally Rahul Dravid at Adelaide, he hasn’t quite managed the consistency that could have turned him into a batting great. Between dazzling and sometimes workmanlike hundreds, he has suffered the frustration of numerous twenties and thirties and has lost his place in the one-day side. Nothing, though, has deterred him from tormenting his favorite opponents with silken strokes and piles of runs: in the course of the double-hundred at Faros Shah Kotla in 2008, he became the second Indian batsman after Tendulkar to score more than 2000 runs against the Australians. A couple of years later, batting with a runner due to back spasms, he conjured up a magical unbeaten 73 in a thrilling run-chase in Mohali.
VSS LAXMAS WITH HIS WIFE SHAILAJA
Shailaja is an Indian name. In the Sanskrit language, it means Parvati
- P. Sail Aja or Sripathi Panditaradhyula Sail Aja, is an Indian singer.
- Shailaja Acharya, was a Nepalese politician.
- Shailaja Salokhe is Indian Table Tennis player
- Born on 1 November 1974 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh to Physicians Dr. Santarem and Dr. Satyabhama of Vijayawada. Laxman studied at Little Flower High School, Hyderabad. He is often called very special Laxman.
- V. S. Lax man’s Wife G. R. Sail Aja was born and brought up in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. She is a very social person who has opened charity where she supports underprivileged kids.
- V. S. Lax man’s Wife G. R. Sail Aja completed her post-graduation in computer applications. She became a homemaker after marriage. She often travels with Laxman.
- They met through arranged effort and decided to marry in 2004. The marriage was attended by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Mohammed Azharuddin, Java gal Srinath and badminton player Gobi Chand present.
- They have a happy marriage and have two kids namely a son, Sarvajit and a daughter, Achinthya. They spend their time in the social cause and for society.