Not as sexy, but it takes three to tango in cricket

If V.V.S. Laxman caressed the cricket ball as laid down by the text-book, Harbhajan Singh broke every rule in the book to bring India back into the second Test in Sydney. That, and Sachin Tendulkar‘s 38th hundred: “When I was on 98, I told Bhajji to come back for the second run. I didn’t want to be stuck in the nineties again.”

Mukul Kesavan on Laxman: Long legged and stooped, Laxman occupies the crease like a slightly worried, but marvellously graceful stork.

Peter Roebuck on Laxman: It is passing strange that Laxman reserves his best performances for his team’s most feared opponent. Against lesser sides he can look awkward, like a bear trying to perform a jig. At such times he seems inferior to tap-dancing colleagues. Then his mind becomes bogged down with thoughts of his own fallibility and his boots might as well be cased in mud. He has known serenity at the crease but it teases him like a butterfly.

Mike Coward on Laxman: As far as his parents were concerned, Laxman was destined for a career in medicine. Doctors themselves, they imagined their pride and joy would make an inestimable contribution to the physical and mental wellbeing of the good burghers of Hyderabad and far beyond… One can envisage Laxman as a surgeon, deftly and delicately cutting and suturing, then accepting with grace the commendations of those who assisted. He is a humble man… It is not unfair to say that Laxman has never quite lived up to expectations and the rave notices that invariably accompany his finest achievements. Unquestionably, his career average from 88 Tests should be above 43. But, then again, Lawrence Olivier was known to forget his lines and, presumably, Picasso discarded a canvas or two.

Tonight on CNN-IBN at 10 pm: Sachin Tendulkar for Bharat Ratna?