November 22, 1996: Glimpses of his flair were on show when he debuted in the Test against South Africa in Ahmedabad in 1996. He contributed to India’s victory with a 51 in the second innings. It was one of only two half-centuries in the match, where India won by 64 runs.
Here comes the ton
January 2000: After being in and out of the squad, Laxman made his mark by scoring 167 at SCG during India’s tour of Australia 1999/00. However, the innings couldn’t save India from an innings and a 141-run defeat. The instance where he came close to scoring a century prior to that was against the same opponents during Australia’s tour of India in 1998, where he scored 95 at Eden Gardens coming in as an opener. India won by an innings and 219 runs then.
Very, very special innings
March 13-15, 2001: VVS single-handedly towed India out of a huge defeat scoring 281 runs in the second innings after the hosts were forced to follow on. The innings, which his fans fondly remember as Very, Very Special, handed India a 171-run victory against Steve Waugh-led Australia at Eden Gardens.
December 2003-January 2004: Fans were in for yet another treat when India toured Australia in 2003/04 for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, also legendary Steve Waugh`s farewell Test series. He teamed up with Rahul Dravid for a 303-run fifth wicket stand to set up a 4-wicket victory at Adelaide Oval. He contributed to the partnership with 148 runs. Later in the 4th Test at SCG, he was part of a 353-run partnership involving Sachin Tendulkar to give India a chance to pull off a win to seal series. However, the match ended in a draw.
Battle of Sydney
January 3, 2008: Another notable performance came in the controversial Sydney Test against the Australians in 2008. After losing the first Test owing to poor batting, Laxman and Sachin helped India to come back strongly. He scored 109 in the first innings but another batting collapse in the second innings did them in.
October 29-30, 2008: Another vintage performance from the Hyderabadi batsman awaited the Australians in Delhi as he tormented the visitors again with his second double-century in Tests. India amassed 613 in the first innings and went on to draw the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Eventually, India won the 4-match series 2-0.
Eden Garden - happy hunting ground
February 14-18, 2010: Eden Gardens continued to be his happy hunting ground as Laxman scored an unbeaten 143 against South Africa. The performance helped India win by an innings and 57 runs to level the two-Test series.
August 3-7, 2010: Laxman played a rescue act in the third and final Test to secure a hard-fought series-levelling victory against Sri Lanka with scores of 56 and 103*. Chasing 257 in Colombo, Laxman helped India register a five-wicket win.
Tall among the ruins
October 1-5, 2010: Laxman scored a crucial 73 in the second innings to help India to a narrow one-wicket victory. Chasing a meagre 216 to win against Australia in the first Test at Mohali, India were 124 for 8 but Laxman stood firm scoring an undefeated 73 to give India the lead in the two-match series.
December 26-29, 2010: Laxman played a major role in India’s victory in the 2nd Test against South Africa on a low-scoring Durban pitch. He had scores of 38 and 96 in India’s 87-run victory. India, after losing badly in the first Test in Centurion, came back to level the series.