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Ian Chappell ranks VVS Laxman's 281-run knock as one one of the finest against spin


ANI Cricket
Former Australia skipper Ian Chappell on Sunday ranked VVS Laxman's 281-run knock in 2001 against Australia as one of the finest innings against spin bowling.
Laxman had played a knock of 281 against Australia at the Eden Gardens and this guided India to a famous victory. What made the innings more special is the fact that it came when India was asked to follow-on in the second innings.
"The absence of any cricket gives me an opportunity to reflect on an aspect of the game I enjoy: watching a batsman utilise good footwork to combat top-class spin bowling. Two innings stand out: one played by India's VVS Laxman, the other by Doug Walters of Australia," ESPN Cricinfo quoted Chappell as saying.
"Laxman's incredible 281 at Calcutta in 2001 is the best I've seen against top-class leg-spin," he added.
In the second innings, Laxman found support in Rahul Dravid and the duo went on to stitch together a partnership of 376 runs.
Laxman and Dravid dismantled the Aussie bowling attack which comprised of Shane Warne and Glenn Mcgrath.
Laxman went on to score 281 and enabled India to produce one of the greatest comeback victories.
This knock by Laxman was the highest score by an Indian batsman till 2004 which was later surpassed by Virender Sehwag.
"At the conclusion of that exhilarating series I asked Shane Warne how he thought he bowled. I don't think I bowled that badly, he replied. You didn't, I responded," Chappell said.
"If Laxman comes three paces out of his crease and hits an unbelievable on-drive against the spin and you then flight the next delivery a little higher and shorter to invite another drive and instead he quickly goes onto the back foot and pulls it, that's not bad bowling. That's good footwork," he added
Laxman's innings went on to guide India to a memorable 171-run victory over Australia in the second Test of the three-match series and as a result, the Sourav Ganguly-led side became the first team in the history of Test cricket to win a match after being forced to follow on.

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First Published: Mar 29 2020 | 3:42 PM IST

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