Old nemesis Laxman gears up to face Australia

Canberra: VVS Laxman, who has proved to be Australia`s nemesis several times, is again ready to take on one of the toughest Test sides in world cricket as the stylish Indian prepares for what would be his final tour Down Under.

"You always want to prove yourself against the toughest opposition. Most of the Australian teams I have played against had some great players, and it was a challenge to take them on. It has always brought the best out of me," said Laxman.

India will begin their tour to Australia with the first Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground starting December 26.

The Aussies have suffered the most at the hands of the Hyderabadi batsman.

The 37-year-old`s wristy strokes and calm demeanour made many Australian bowlers toil hard and ponder.

Michael Clarke`s new-look Australia may have dropped down the world rankings, there was no hint of complacency from Laxman.

"Australia`s fighting spirit and the refusal to give up make them the toughest opponents. They will not give you anything easily. Even at Under-19 level, it was that way. They were very aggressive and they were quick to identify your weaknesses," Laxman told reporters.

Laxman said that he has always enjoyed pitches where the ball comes on to the bat.

"I have always enjoyed pitches where there is pace and bounce. Australian grounds also tend to have fast outfields where you get full value for your shots," he said.

PTI

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