Cricket

Badrinath for Laxman

S. Badrinath

S. Badrinath  

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Subramanium Badrinath remembers a timeless piece of advice from V.V.S. Laxman.

“You don’t have to show exterior aggression on the arena. You need to have that aggression within you,” the batting wizard from Hyderabad had said.

These are words Badrinath has carried with him on the field of play. And he will surely take them with him as he travels to Hyderabad as Laxman’s replacement in the Indian squad for the first Test against New Zealand, beginning on August 23.

His USP

When the National selectors announced his name on Sunday, Badrinath was ready. He has always been so, both physically and mentally. Commitment has been his USP.

“The learning never stops. I have been working on several aspects of my batsmanship, including my back-foot play against pacemen and the position of my head. This is a great opportunity for me,” Badrinath said to The Hindu here on Sunday.

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.

But then, Badrinath soon found himself back from the centre-stage to the periphery. He travelled to the Caribbean in 2011, was lacklustre in the ODI leg of the tour and subsequently failed to make the eleven in any of the three Tests. This was ironic since the longer form of the game is Badrinath’s strongest flank.

Indeed, innings building skills are his strength. Badrinath has 7836 runs in 104 first class matches at 60.74 with 28 centuries. He has the ability to graft but is not short of strokes.

Along the way, he has learnt to cope with disappointments; Badrinath does bear the scars of a fighter.

“It is important to stay focussed. You cannot hope for success all the time. There are times when you think you have done well but are not rewarded. It’s all a part of sport and life. But it is crucial to grab the opportunity when it comes,” he said.

Another shot

Another shot at Test fame could come his way now that greats Rahul Dravid and Laxman have walked into the sunset.

Two from the trio of Badrinath, Cheteshwar Pujara and Suresh Raina will make the eleven.

“Dravid and Laxman have been inspirational for me. I have imbibed so much about the finer aspects of batsmanship from them. They are not only great cricketers but exemplary human beings,” said Badrinath.

His sharp fielding, particularly close to the wicket, will be an asset to the Indian side. Badrinath is ready to fly again.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 12:47:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/badrinath-for-laxman/article3795331.ece

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