Cape Town: He may not have got the same recognition like some of his illustrious teammates despite having bailed India out of trouble on a number of occasions, but V V S Laxman says the respect he gets in the dressing is more valuable for him.
Even after playing some of the most amazing knocks, many experts feel that the soft-spoken Hyderabadi stylist didn`t get his due like some of his teammates. But for Laxman, it matters more that his teammates understand his value.
"The biggest recognition for me is that my teammates know that in tough situation there is someone who can bail them out. As a matter of fact, even the opposition feels that you cannot be taken for granted," Laxman said.
"I think it gives you a lot of satisfaction that you have performed in tough situations. Respect in Indian team`s dressing room is more valuable to me," the 36-year-old batsman said.
The success that the Indian team has enjoyed over the past year will taste even more sweet as detractors thought they won`t be able to hold on to the number one ranking.
"The moment we lost Galle Test match, most of them (critics) said that Indian team is tiger only in their own backyard," said Laxman, the man-of-the-match of the second Test.
"They used to taunt us saying that they would like to see whether we are capable of winning abroad," he said.
Incidentally, it was Laxman who scored a century at Colombo battling back spasms which helped India level the series.
"Now we have won an important Test match and that too in Durban. This victory is definitely up there. When you beat South Africa on supposedly the quickest of wickets in South Africa, it gives you that much additional joy.”
"Because everyone talks about Durban being a place where South Africa usually puts the opposition under pressure though the results of late haven`t gone their way.”
"In these conditions, if you beat them it gives you a lot of satisfaction," the soft-spoken Hyderabadi added.
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was also upbeat about Indian team`s performance in last two years.
"The last two years have been excellent for the team. The way we progressed since the 2007-08 series against Australia, no one can say that we are poor travellers. We are now winning Test matches and even series abroad", Dhoni said.
"Now we have an opportunity to win a series in South Africa and that is our aim now. If we play to our potential we can win the series against South Africa", he added.