Mumbai: A contest against Australia brought out the best from Indian stalwart VVS Laxman, who announced his retirement a few days ago, says former Aussie pacer Brett Lee, adding such was his domination that the Hyderabadi seemed to score a hundred every time the two teams duelled.
"VVS Laxman`s retirement from international cricket is a big decision. He was one of India`s best batsmen and certainly one of the toughest opponents I have faced. Whenever Laxman played against Australia, it brought out the best in him.
"We have seen some exceptional innings over the years from him and he seemed to get a hundred every time he played against Australia," Lee wrote for a website.
Lee is full of praise for the counter-attacking 150-plus knock that Laxman notched up in Sydney in 2004.
"One innings I particularly recall is the hundred he got against Australia in 2004 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The match ended in a draw but his innings of 178 was world class," Lee wrote.
India notched up a score in excess of 700, thanks to Laxman`s knock and Sachin Tendulkar`s double hundred before the match ended in a draw at the SCG.
Though he was not part of the tourists` line-up in Laxman`s magnum opus at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata three years earlier, Lee wrote that he had heard about the innings from his teammates and had watched that epic on TV.
"Another spectacular innings from him was the one in 2001 (281) versus Australia at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. He and Rahul Dravid batted all day and helped India win that game," Lee wrote.
"I missed the tour with a broken elbow, but from what I watched on television and what I heard from the guys who played against him, they told me that it was impossible to get him out that day," according to the former Aussie pacer.
Lee says he totally agrees with his one-time captain Steve Waugh`s quotes about Laxman. "If you get Dravid, great. If you get Sachin, brilliant. But if you get Laxman, it`s a miracle."
"He has a handy technique and he has this amazing ability to pull the ball off his legs for four from any angle," Lee wrote.
The Aussie bowler has also mentioned that his rivalry with Laxman had commenced during the duo`s under 19 days.
"I want to congratulate VVS Laxman on a fantastic cricketing career. It is obviously a big call when you hang up your boots as I found out over the last couple of months," he has added.
First Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012, 19:13