Why November 22 is special for VVS Laxman
India (190 all out) set South Africa 170 to win but the visitors were bowled out for 105 with Javagal Srinath claiming six for 21
It's a big day for India batting great VVS Laxman as his book, 281 and Beyond releases in Mumbai today. Friends and former teammates will be at a suburban hotel this evening to witness his conversation with celebrated comentator Harsha Bhogle (who incidentally bowled to Laxman the evening before the second Test against Australia at Eden Gardens in 1998 when reserve Laxman didn't get a chance to bat during the team's regular practice session). He ended up playing that Test.
On this very day in 1996, Laxman scored the first of his 56 half centuries for India — against South Africa at Ahmedabad. Laxman reveals in his book that he read a bit from Thus Spake, a book by Swami Vivekananda, gifted to him by his father before walking out to bat in Ahmedabad. "It's the kind of book that inspires you.
By the time I put it down and walked out, I was determined to stand up for the team," he writes, without forgetting to mention the "wonderful guiding hand" of Anil Kumble during their vital stand of 56 runs. Laxman was trapped leg before wicket by Allan Donald for 11 in the first innings as India managed only 223. South Africa responded with 244 before Laxman stayed unbeaten with 50 at the end of the third day's play. India (190 all out) set South Africa 170 to win but the visitors were bowled out for 105 with Javagal Srinath claiming six for 21.
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