Bridgetown (Barbados): VVS Laxman was a disappointed man despite playing a crucial role in India`s recovery in the second Test against West Indies as a hundred had eluded him once again after all the hard work.
Laxman, who played a precious 85-run knock in India`s total of 201 all out yesterday, was also upset that he didn`t farm the strike enough with the tailenders.
"I have not converted many of my 50s into 100s and so you feel bad after having put in the hard work," reflected Laxman on his knock which also helped him to a personal milestone of 8,000 Test runs.
Laxman has so far hit 16 centuries from his 122-Test long career but there are as many as 50 half centuries many of which he wished he had converted into three-figure knocks.
Laxman conceded he made a misjudgment in trying to farm strike in the post-tea session.
"Fidel (Edwards) was bowling with good pace and was reverse swinging his deliveries. He was bowling short-pitched balls and I wanted to take strike off him. Unfortunately my shot-selection (a cut off Davendra Bishoo to point fielder) wasn`t ideal. I wanted to take the single and go to the other end (from where Edwards was bowling).”
"I think I made a mistake and got out. We could have scored 50-60 important runs," he said.
Even though Laxman was mindful that there was some more score to be had, for himself and for his team, he lauded the bowlers to have brought the side right back into the match.
"If we had scored 250-300 it would have been very good. But the bowlers have got us right back into the match."
India had struck back fiercely by claiming three top order home wickets for 30 runs.
Laxman claimed his innings was important for the rhythm he managed in his batting -- something that was missing in the first Test in Jamaica.
"I didn`t have the best of preparation in the first Test; we couldn`t do proper net practice. So in that sense I was pleased here; my rhythm was much better and I had started to time the ball much better than in Jamaica."
Laxman offered a word of encouragement to younger players who are part of the eleven in this Test match.
"(Suresh) Raina has improved a lot. He was quite comfortable in the middle against short-pitched bowling. He has already played two important knocks for us in this series.”
"(Virat) Kohli was unlucky today. The ball he got out to didn`t bounce much. He is a fabulous player and has played some mature innings in tough conditions for us in one-dayers. He is a great player to watch.”
"The two openers, Murali (Vijay) and (Abhinav) Mukund, are very talented and in time to come, would be true match winners. Unfortunately the wickets in West Indies, for the first hour at least, are damp. With more experience, they would be fine," said Laxman.
Because of the openers` failures in both the Tests, Laxman has had to come as early as in the seventh or eighth overs on this tour.
"I`ve faced new ball fairly early on this tour but that goes with travelling overseas.”
"Personally, I have loved batting at number three for this is the slot I batted right through my younger days. But number four is not bad either, I don`t mind as long as it is in middle-order," he said.