Melbourne: A prolific scorer against Australia, Indian middle-order batsman VVS Laxman hoped that the hosts would continue to have recurring nightmares of his presence at the crease during the forthcoming Test series starting here on December 26.
"I always dreamt of doing well in Australia. It has wonderful grounds. I wish to score those hundreds which help the team win...if it is a nightmare for Australia, I hope it continues," Laxman said ahead of the Test here on Friday.
Laxman has scored more runs against Australia than any other Indian except Sachin Tendulkar. On more than one occasion, he has played knocks which have turned a game on its head -- the 281 he made at Kolkata in 2001 and the 148 he cracked at Adelaide in 2004 which won India matches from unseemly positions.
Two other knocks of his were not hundreds yet it won India matches against Australia, his 69 at Mumbai in 2004 and his 73 not out at Mohali last year. Laxman has 2279 runs from 25 matches at 55.59 average with six centuries to boot.
While former Australian captain Mark Taylor has termed Indian batsmen susceptible on pitches Down Under, Laxman terms them as the best tracks for batting -- better than the one he plays in the sub-continent.
"I think Australian surfaces are best for batting. I relish them more than the sub-continent. Once you see off the new ball, you get true value for your shots. These wickets are ideal for strokeplayers."
Laxman has scored 1081 runs from 11 Tests in Australia, averaging 54.05 with four centuries.
There is little wonder there is optimism that India could win the series against Australia for the first time in over six decades.
"Winning against Australia is a dream for all cricketers. It`s probably the toughest cricket players can play. Definitely is our dream.”
"We are very proud of what we`ve done in Australia. Going into the series, it gives us a lot of confidence."
Laxman said the key factor for India would be the openerswho would be expected to fire in the forthcoming Tests and score big runs in the first innings.
"Key is to get big scores in the first innings. It puts opposition under pressure. That`s one area we were not able to do well. Now we need our batters to get big hundreds and big totals on the board as a batting unit."
Laxman admitted the defeat in England hurt his unit a great deal but he is equally proud the team was able to turn the corner so quickly.
"It hurt a lot. It took us a long time to recover. But we are proud of beating them 5-0 (at home) and then against the West Indies we won both the Tests and one-dayers.”
"We came back strongly because we analysed our shortcomings and addressed them."