VVS LAXMAN – 167 (2000) & 178 (2004)
The Indian tour of Australia in 1999-00 was perhaps one of the low points in Indian cricket history, as Sachin Tendulkar’s stint as Indian captain proved to be a huge failure, despite him doing extremely well with the bat.
India had already lost the first two Tests of the three-match series and in the final Test at the SCG, India batted first after winning the toss and was bowled out for 150 runs with McGrath picking a fifer. Australia replied with a mammoth 552/5d with Langer making 223 and Ponting making 141*.
In the second innings, VVS Laxman showed his caliber as a batsman and someone that would go on to torment the Australians for a decade. Laxman stood tall while opening the innings with a sublime 167 in 198 runs with 27 fours to his name.
All this while, MSK Prasad and Sachin Tendulkar fell for single-digit scores and Dravid scored a duck. The next best score was Ganguly’s 25 runs, as India was bowled out for 261 runs and lost the Test by an innings and 141 runs and the series 0-3.
VVS Laxman was praised by his Australian counterparts as well, as he had suffered a severe blow to the helmet during his innings, but carried on valiantly, hitting some sublime cover drives and wristy flicks on the leg side.
His second brilliant innings at the SCG came in 2003-04 Test series as India was pushing for a Test series win with the series tied at 1-1 before going into the SCG Test.
India had posted 705/7d with Sachin Tendulkar’s epic double hundred being the cornerstone of the Indian innings. However, VVS Laxman lent some great support to Tendulkar in a big 353-run partnership.
Laxman scored a brilliant 178 runs in the partnership with 30 fours in 298 balls. He and Tendulkar made a mockery of Australian bowling attack featuring Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, Nathan Bracken, and Stuart MacGill.