The 31-year-old Badrinath played two Tests against South Africa at home in 2010. And he did produce a fiesty innings of 56 on debut in Nagpur on a seaming track with the mercurial Dale Steyn running hot.
V.V.S. Laxman and Rahul Dravid forged a bond that lent solidity to the Indian middle-order and spelt assurance in the slip cordon.
And references to Laxman are incomplete without mentioning his epic 281 and the script-altering 376-run partnership he shared with Dravid, which helped India stun Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001.
Dravid was returning home from England on Saturday when Laxman’s retirement took him and the world by surprise.
The former India captain was quick to applaud his team-mate and said: “V.V.S. Laxman is a great cricketer and one of the finest batsmen ever to have played for India. He was part of an era during which India was successful in Test cricket and he also contributed enormously towards that success.
“His performance on the field and personality off it were always of a high standard. He has played many crucial knocks that helped India.”
Dravid, who bowed out with grace last March, stressed that Laxman’s sudden exit is a personal decision and it has to be respected.
“It did come as a surprise that he retired considering that he has been preparing for the season and the fact that he was picked for the series (against New Zealand). He would always want to live up to the high standards that he has set for himself but knowing the person that Laxman is I am sure he wouldn’t want to play if he felt that his mind wasn’t free.
“Ultimately it’s his decision. India will miss him in the Tests ahead and it will also be a time to reflect on what Laxman achieved for India. Hopefully a young cricketer will take the opportunity and maximise his talent and do what Laxman did for India all these years,” Dravid said.
Keywords: Laxman retirement