Former India batsman VVS Laxman recently disclosed that India’s win in the Gabba Test last month was the second time he shed tears over a cricketing moment. Laxman said that he had experienced similar emotions when MS Dhoni hit a six to win India the 2011 World Cup in Mumbai.
While the World Cup victory came after 28 long years, India – under stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane – became the first side to beat Australia in Brisbane since 1988. VVS Laxman wasn’t part of either of the wins, but he claimed that he still couldn’t control his emotions after seeing others live the dream he always wanted to.
“Twice I cried, once in 2011 when India lifted the World Cup because I always wanted to be a part of a World Cup-winning team and I played alongside this group of players who were so close to me and they went on to realise their dream of winning the World Cup,” VVS Laxman told Sports Today.
“And I always wanted to beat Australia in Australia, I was not able to do that as a cricketer. I was so proud that this young Indian team did that. Tears came down my eyes. Words cannot express what a wonderful, inspirational achievement not only for cricket but for the entire country,” the Hyderabad lad, who scored 2,434 runs at an average of 49.67 in 29 Tests versus the Aussies, explained.
India became the first Asian team to win a Test series Down Under in the 2018-19 season. But the enormity of the latest victory was much more because the visitors were strewn with injuries and without star batsman Virat Kohli, and the Aussies had the services of Steve Smith and David Warner – the duo were serving a year-long ban in the previous series, following their ball tampering scandal.
India went into the fourth and final Test with two debutants in Washington Sundar and T Natarajan, and one-Test-old Shardul Thakur. While the tourists turned in a concerted performance, it was Rishabh Pant who produced an innings of a lifetime – a counterattacking 89* off 138 balls – to help India chase down 328 with three wickets in hand.
Labelling the moment when Pant drove Josh Hazlewood down the ground for the winning runs as “very emotional”, VVS Laxman stated that he wanted India to emerge victorious largely as means to avenge the 36 all out in Adelaide. He further added that the win was also to silence the Australian media, after they made falsified claims of the Indian team being unwilling to play at the Aussies’ ‘fortress Gabba’.
“I became very emotional. I was watching the last day and following it along with my family. When Rishabh and Washington were batting, I got very tense myself because when you’re not playing the game, you’re not in control.
“I just wanted India to beat Australia and win the series, especially after what has happened in Adelaide and what had happened before the Gabba Test match where everyone was talking about Indians are scared of going to Brisbane where Australia hadn’t lost in a long time,” VVS Laxman signed off.
India are now the proud winners of the last three editions of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy – 2017 (home), 2018-19 (away) and 2020-21 (away).