Personally, I was sick of constantly seeing him bat against us

Jason Gillespie

There were hardly any opposition batsmen in international cricket whose wicket we valued more highly than that of VVS Laxman. I personally was sick of seeing him bat in the middle against us. And we were always glad to see the back of him. It was only very rarely that we celebrated VVS's wicket before he had done considerable damage to our bowling attack, however.

Laxman always seemed to lift his game against us. And we as a bowling attack always had to work real hard to get him out. Our attack always suited him, and more often than not he was aware of our plans against him. No wonder he foiled them on so often.

Laxman was very much like Azharuddin in his style of batting. And he could use those wrists to hit any ball in that arc between fine-leg and mid-on with ease. He could manoeuvre any ball towards the onside with minimum fuss.

Initially our plan against VVS was to bowl outside off-stump and get him to drive away from his body off the front-foot. We knew how much he loved hitting on the leg-side, and our strategy was to dry him up outside the off-stump. We always had slips in place but like we all know this strategy didn't quite work to plan very often. Laxman was a very determined fellow, and a tough, tough competitor. Whatever we tried, he seemed to get on top during that wonderful phase he had between 2001 and 2004 both in India and in Australia.

When we came back to India in 2004 the series where we finally won we had gotten together and consciously changed our tactics against Laxman. We decided to bowl at his strengths!

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