It was a special evening for the select audience especially on the eve of the second cricket Test match between India and Australia in the city. And it was none other than V.V.S. Laxman who delighted everyone with his candid talk about various aspects of the game at the book launch of ‘Talking Cricket’ brought out by EspnCricinfo here on Friday.
Fresh from his maiden television commentary stint for the first Test in Chennai last week, Laxman said, “It was a wonderful experience and the passion of the former greats and fellow-commentators in analysing the game was terrific.” “I will give him nine out of 10 for his preparations. And, about his commentary, you all know, I don’t want to say anything,” said well-known commentator Harsha Bhogle when asked how he rated Laxman as a commentator.
The book has interviews with famous names in the world of cricket including Sir Garfield Sobers, Barry Richards, Ian Chappell, Nasser Hussain, Mark Taylor and Laxman too on themes like leadership and strategy, batting, bowling, etc.
Laxman took the opportunity to stress that in coaching young talent, care should be taken to ensure that the natural element is not removed from his game. To the delight of the gathering, he came up with an interesting story about his six-year-old son Sarvajith, who has not yet gone to a coaching camp, and another seven-year-old from his family were playing with him the other day. “And, I noticed that while my son was hitting the ball all over, the other boy was asking me whether his elbow is coming down properly or not. I was surprised by this,” he explained.
“The dream to play for the country should be the ultimate priority and only then the rest of the things like playing IPL should come,” says Laxman, who is also mentor for the Sunrisers franchisee in the IPL.
“I don’t believe that you don’t need technique in playing any other format other than Test cricket or a four-day game. I am often amazed at the kind of stunning stokes which someone like South African AB de Villiers plays,” Laxman pointed out.
Plans a book
Laxman also plans to come out with a book tracing his cricketing journey. “It won’t be a long one but very concise with some great experiences to make it interesting,” he said.