Dubai: It’s virtually impossible, they say, to find enemies of VVS Laxman - one of the alltime batting greats of Indian cricket and a member of the ‘Fab Four.’ The ‘Mr 281’ showed the reasons again as he took to the social media over the past week to lavish praises on a selection of Indian greats, which included his contemporaries like a Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid and some who were technically juniors to him but have been colleagues in the dressing room for long.
Zaheer Khan, India’s finest left arm paceman, was the subject of Laxman’s tweet on Monday. “Daring to dream big and determined to chase those dreams, Zaheer Khan’s journey from tiny Shrirampur to the dizzy heights of success illustrated the strength of his character,” Laxman said.
“His career-defining county stint at Worcester reiterated his desire to reinvent himself and shed comfort zones,” he added.
Zaheer, who made his international debut in an ODI against Kenya in October 2000, was part of the potent pace attack in the 2003 World Cup alongwith Ashish Nehra and Javagal Srinath in which India had a dream-run into the finals.
However, in the final against Australia, he was taken to the cleaners by their batsmen as he ended up leaking 67 runs in seven overs.
This started a downward spiral for the left-arm pacer as injuries and poor form forced him out of the team for a considerable period. He made a return in 2004 but lacked the pace and accuracy and ultimately conceded his spot to the likes of R.P. Singh, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel and Sreesanth.
However, he signed up with Worcestershire and picked up 10 wickets on debut for the county, becoming the first player in over a hundred years to achieve the feat. Following his successful county stint, he was recalled into Team India in 2006.
His high point came in India’s 2011 World Cup triumph when he was the joint leading wicket-taker (along with Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi) in the tournament with 21 wickets.
Here goes a few other tweets from Laxman on his erstwhile colleagues:
Another person could easily have buckled under the string of personal and professional setbacks that marked the early part of his career. Channelizing potential frustration into unbridled aggression, @harbhajan_singh held his own at the highest level for a decade and a half.
Cocking a snook at those who questioned his pedigree against high-quality fast bowling, @virendersehwag went on to establish himself as one of the most destructive openers in Test history. Viru’s immense self-belief and positivity was as mind-boggling as it was infectious.