During the course of his 15th Test century, an innings he dedicated to his wife, V.V.S. Laxman became only the second Indian batsman — Sunil Gavaskar was the first — to make over 1000 runs at a Test venue

Gavaskar achieved the feat at the Wankhede Stadium and the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium. For Laxman the venue, fittingly, is the Eden Gardens, a ground which has inspired the 35-year-old to several great deeds. Laxman spoke to the media after the innings.

(Excerpts):

On playing in Eden Gardens: It feels really good to play at the Eden Gardens. The people of Kolkata are so warm and I have always loved coming to Kolkata. I am glad I was able to maintain the record this time around.

On performing under pressure: I really feel happy whenever I do well and bail the team out of tough situations. This morning it was crucial because we had lost three quick wickets yesterday (Monday) evening.

I thought Mishra played really well and he brought the momentum back to our team this morning by some of the attacking shots that he played. Obviously then the big partnership between me and Dhoni took away the game from South Africa.

On Dhoni’s century: In a sense, Dhoni is an all-rounder, a wicket-keeping all-rounder. He is so destructive as a batsman. You can see the body language of the bowlers whenever Dhoni gets in. They are very defensive when they bowl or the way they move. I think Dhoni is the most destructive batsman in world cricket at the moment and we are really happy that he is coming at number seven and he is doing the job what is required of a batsman like him. Also he is converting those fifties into big hundreds.

On playing only the classical form: For me, always Test cricket was very, very important and representing the country was a great motivation for me right from my younger days.

I am really glad that I am playing Test cricket for the country and consistently doing well for the country so I don’t really miss playing in ODIs and Twenty20.

On the Eden Gardens wicket: I think the wicket has played really true and there is good value for your shots as a batsman. Even for the spinners there is help and also for the medium-pacers, especially on the first day, there was some help. I think the curator has done a tremendous job.

On dedicating the century to his wife: Today is my marriage anniversary and it is great that my wife and kids gave me a surprise by coming to Kolkata. So definitely I would like to dedicate this to my wife because she has been a pillar of strength to me and my family. It is tough being the wife of a cricketer because we are always on the road.

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