Laxman credits Upton after scoring hundred in easy situation

November 15th, 2011 - 8:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 15 (IANS) Regarded as the team’s crisis man, V.V.S. Laxman was relieved at scoring a century at Eden Gardens Tuesday when the team was not under any pressure which in itself was a challenge for the stylish batsman.

Laxman, who scored a Test century after 15 months, credited India’s former mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton for bringing out the best in him when the team is not in difficulty.

“This is the first time in a long time where the team is not in a difficult or challenging position and I have gone and got a hundred,” he said after his unconquered knock of 176 in India’s 631/7 in the first essay against the West Indies.

Asked how it felt to get a hundred when India was in a good position, he said: “I think that’s one of the challenges which I had. Especially with Paddy Upton who was the mental conditioner, we tried various strategies about how to get the best out of me especially when I am in a situation where the team is not under a lot of pressure.”

Laxman hoped his 17th Test ton will help the Indians win the second Test against West Indies.

The 37-year-old said he would consider his knock valuable if India won the game and pocketed the series. The hosts are up 1-0 after winning the first game of the three-match series in Delhi.

“I am not one who rates my innings but any knock that you contribute to the team is always good. Hopefully, this knock will help the team win the game.

“I rate any knock which helps the team win the game more valuable than making runs in a losing cause. The wicket is already turning and there is good bounce for the spinners. Hopefully, our bowlers can bowl in the right areas and we can win the game,” he added.

Laxman’s previous century had come on Aug 3 last year against Sri Lanka at P. Sara Oval in Colombo “where the team was under tremendous pressure”.

“After that, I have played knocks in pressure situations… When I went in to bat, the position wasn’t very challenging but it was important for us to build a partnership at that stage and that’s what I and Rahul (Dravid) tried to do.”

He said it was important to post a big first innings total as the wicket could deteriorate later in the match.

“Definitely it was a relief to get a hundred… it was satisfying to get a hundred after a long gap. Even though I had some valuable 50s under my belt, it is always satisfying to get a hundred.”

Asked about the declaration when he was 24 short of his second double-hundred at the Eden, Laxman said the decision was taken as the hosts wanted to bowl 20-22 overs to the Caribbeans in the last session.

“The light was fading, especially after MS got out. We wanted to bowl at least 20-22 overs at the West Indies this evening, that’s why we declared when we did.”

He said at tea, the team strategy was to bat around 5-6 overs.

“But suddenly after tea, after 3 overs, the light suddenly dropped. I definitely passed on the message to the dressing room that it was important to declare and bowl at the West Indies,” he added.

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