Former Indian captain Rahul Dravid, who formed the partnership that has possibly redefined Indian cricket with VVS Laxman back in 2001 at the Eden Gardens, has revealed the best innings ever played by an Indian cricketer and according to 'The Wall', Laxman's innings of 281 takes the cake.
"Without a doubt, I think, the 281 was probably one of the most significant and greatest innings played by an Indian cricketer, in terms of the context, the consequence, the innings was played in," Dravid said at the launch of Laxman's autobiography "281 and Beyond" late Thursday evening in Bengaluru.
"I really had the best seat in the house for the greatest Indian innings ever played," he added.
Dravid also said that he was especially awestruck with the way Laxman played few of the strokes against a top-notch bowling attack.
'I was still imagining him and visualising him'
"I was still imagining him and visualising him, stepping outside the leg-stump and hitting Shane Warne through the covers, for a ball that is pitched yards outside the leg-stump. Or to be able to flick a ball on the middle and off-stump on a turning track in Kolkata, across the line, against a great bowler like Shane Warne," he said.
Dravid, who himself smashed 180 in the match, conceded that his own form leading up to the innings in Eden Gardens was not very good. However, he said that watching Laxman bat gave him a lot of confidence and this reflected in the way he batted.
"To be honest, I was not in the greatest of form leading into that particular innings. By the time, I went into bat (at No 6), Laxman was batting at 90-odd. I was not playing well in that series and watching him play gave me a lot of confidence. It was a magical day," he said.
VVS said that the duo never thought too far in the partnership and just kept batting on and kept punishing the bad balls at all times.
"It was a terrible situation for all of us to be in. We were thinking of the present. We are 274 runs behind (after following on). All we did was, playing according to the merit of the ball.
"And we did not have too much of conversation. All we did was punch the gloves and said 'one more over'. We broke it down into small goals," Laxman said.