When V V S Laxman scored his third century at Sydney in the 2009 Test, Ponting, the then Australian captain, patted him for his yet another century against them (in all Laxman hit six Test centuries against the Aussies). "I think you love this Ground. It was great to see the way you have batted," were Ponting's comments after the Hyderabadi's romance with Sydney continued where he scored his first Test century also - a brilliant 167 in the 2000 series.

Recalling some of the experiences of playing against Ponting, who announced his retirement from Test cricket on Thursday morning, Laxman informed The Hindu that the world cricket will surely miss this great batsman and a fierce competitor.

"He (Ponting) is an exceptional player and one of the most destructive batsmen I had ever seen," were the big compliments from Laxman, who himself quit international cricket recently.

"What impressed me the most about his batting was the quick pace with which he scored those runs. Especially, he was always good against us back home 'Down Under' though his record was not the same in India," Laxman pointed out.

"Well, his attacking nature, positive intent - always looking to dominate - were some of the typical Ponting characteristics," the former India star batsman said.

"As a team, we Indians were always locked in intense battles with him. There is no doubt that he was a very aggressive cricketer. He always made his presence felt whether he was the captain or not. Be it fielding in the slips or silly-point," Laxman pointed out.

Laxman remembers Ponting's century (156 at Old Trafford) in the 2005 Ashes Series as something he would recall easily given the quality of batting under difficult conditions. "That was an exceptional innings which helped the team pull off an exciting draw," he added.

"Cricket in general will surely miss someone like Ponting who left a huge impression on the sport itself," Laxman concluded.

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