Laxman a tricky customer for Ausby Nirav Soni SEO
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Review on Laxman a tricky customer for AusAustralia captain Ricky Ponting has identified India batsman VVS Laxman as a final-day threat to the tourists as they aim to square the series.
Ponting's team suffered a one-wicket loss to India in the first Test in Mohali as Laxman. who also hit 281 against them in Kolkata in 2001, turned the match on its head by scoring 73 not out and adding 92 invaluable runs for the last two wickets on the final day after the team had been reduced to 124 for eight in pursuit of 216 runs for victory.
Ponting, who said "VVS Laxman might be the guy to watch out for" during the team dinner after the fourth day, when India were reeling at 55 for four, agrees that the 35-year-old batsman is a hard nut to crack.
"We got Sachin (Tendulkar) early and (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni early but could not get Laxman when we needed to and he played very well," Ponting said.
The Australia captain also knows that Laxman is a fifth-day specialist. Laxman's heroics against Australia come on the back of a 103 not out scored against Sri Lanka in Colombo that saw India level the series 1-1 just a couple of months ago.
"Come day five and he is someone who has got a very good record against Australia," Ponting said.
Australia know their performance in Bangalore in the second and final Test, which starts on Saturday, will have a bearing on the morale of the side when they face England in the first Ashes Test starting on November 25 in Brisbane.
For India, who are currently the number one Test side in the International Cricket Council rankings, the stakes are not that high.
But injury worries have dogged the home team, with Gautam Gambhir and Ishant Sharma, who took three top-order wickets in the second innings and scored a dogged 31 to take India to the verge of victory in Mohali, will sit out the second Test following injuries to their right knees.
Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund and Saurashtra quick bowler Jaidev Unadkat, both of whom are uncapped, have been called up as replacements, but Murali Vijay and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, who are already in the squad, are likely to get the nod ahead of the rookies.
For Australia, injured Doug Bollinger remains in contention to take part in the second Test after scans revealed that he suffered only a very minor abdominal strain.
The paceman's pre-lunch exit from the field on day five was a major factor in the tourists' defeat.
Off-spinner Nathan Hauritz, who took just one wicket in Mohali, will also play in Bangalore as Ponting is unlikely to make any changes to the team.
- Mahendra Dhoni has won all the three Tests as captain against Australia. He would be the first Indian captain to register four successive wins against
Australia. Sunil Gavaskar and Sourav Ganguly were the other two Indian captains to register three Test wins against Australia.
- Sachin Tendulkar (13973 in 170 Tests) requires 27 to become the first player to complete 14,000 runs in Tests.
- Rahul Dravid (197) needs three catches to become the first fielder in Test annals to complete a double century of catches.
- Dravid (45) needs five catches in the Bangalore Test to become the first fielder to complete 50 catches in India-Australia Tests.
- Ricky Ponting (29) requires one catch to become the leading Australian fielder against India. At present, both Ponting and Mark Waugh have 29 catches each to their credit.
- Ricky Ponting (1862) needs 27 runs to establish an Australian record for the highest run-aggregate against India. Matthew Hayden had aggregated 1888
(ave.59.00) in 18 Tests.
- Zaheer Khan (985) needs 15 runs to complete the double of 1,000 runs and 200 wickets. He would be joining the four Indian all-rounders - Kapil Dev, Javagal
Srinath, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.
- Sachin Tendulkar (2884 in 30 Tests) needs 116 runs to become the first batsman to complete 3000 runs in India-Australia Tests.
- Rahul Dravid (1927) requires 73 runs to become the third batsman to complete 2000 runs in India-Australia Tests. Only two players have aggregated 2,000 runs - Tendulkar (2884) and VVS Laxman (2279) - in India- Australia Tests.
- Michael Clarke (985) needs 15 runs to complete his 1,000 runs against India.
- Sachin Tendulkar (48), in case of a hundred in each innings of the Bangalore Tet, would become the first batsman to complete 50 centuries.
- Ricky Ponting (19) requires one century to become the first captain to complete 20 as captain. He would also be the first Australian to post 7 hundreds against India.
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