Indian batting legend VVS Laxman believes that the current national cricket team is full of match-winners and if they play to their potential, they can beat Sri-Lanka in their own backyard.
India will be playing three-Test series in Sri Lanka, commencing on August 12.
“The current Indian team has hardly played any Test in the sub-continent over the last two years. So India would be keen to do well in Sri Lanka. It is important for them to play to their potential,” Laxman told PTI in an interview.
“I always believe that the current Indian team is highly talented with a lot of match winners. I am sure if they play to their potential they will beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka which would be a great achievement,” said Laxman, who was in the city to announce his association with a cricket website.
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The 40-year-old former middle order batsman said even the Sri Lankans would be looking to put their best foot forward as it is going to be the farewell series for Lankan cricketing legend Kumar Sangakkara.
“It is going to be a big series for Sri Lanka also as it would be the farewell series for Sangakkara. I am sure they will also want to be at their best. It’s going to be closely-contested series,” Laxman, who has represented India in 134 Tests, said.
Heaping praise on the current India Test skipper Virat Kohli, Laxman said: “I think Virat has really done well as a captain in the limited opportunity he has got so far. I believe it is important for everyone to be as natural as possible. Virat has always been someone who is aggressive and positive.”
“The way he has improved as a batsmen to become the most prolific run getter in world cricket over the last 2-3 years shows how hardworking he is and how keen he is to improve as a player. And I am sure, he would be doing the same thing to improve as captain.”
“I was very impressed with the way he decided to try to play for a win in Adelaide and that’s a remarkable quality of a good captain. He always looks to win. Even though India did not win the Test in Adelaide, the faith he showed in his team and the attitude he showed was fantastic. I am sure he will do well as a captain,” he added.
Laxman also applauded Ajinkya Rahane, who led the team to victory in Zimbabwe in the recently-concluded ODI series.
“He has been a fantastic player in all formats of the game and was impressed with the way he captained in Zimbabwe,” Laxman concluded.
BCCI should work towards restoring credibility of game: Laxman
Terming the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal as “unfortunate”, former India batsman V V S Laxman on Wednesday said the BCCI should work towards cleansing the game and restoring the credibility of the cash-rich league.
“It (the IPL scandal) is an unfortunate incident and the BCCI is working on how to restore the credibility of the game. They have formed a working group to look into the Justice (Retd) R M Lodha Committee recommendations. They are capable of doing that,” Laxman told a news channel when asked about his views on the Lodha committee’s verdict.
The Supreme-Court appointed Lodha committee last week suspended IPL teams Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for two years for betting activities of their key officials Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra during the 2013 season.
Meiyappan and Kundra were handed life suspensions after they were found guilty of placing bets during the matches.
Asked about the IPL’s perceived loss of credibility from the viewpoint of the fans, Laxman said, “No individual is bigger than the game and game should be the winner. It was a bad incident and I am sure the BCCI will be able to clean it up.”
He, however, batted for the IPL to bring back the game into focus with some quality cricket.
“IPL is a good product. It is important for the sport and the IPL to produce some quality cricket. We should now focus on cricket. IPL 8 had some quality cricket among the eight franchises and nobody knew which teams will qualify for the play-offs till towards the end (of league phase). Quality cricket is the need of the hour,” said 40-year-old Laxman who retired in 2012 after scoring 8,781 runs from 134 Tests.