281 and Beyond
An aggressive batsman who could score against any kind of bowling, V.V.S. Laxman played over a hundred Tests to score over 8,000 runs. Cricket fans still remember with awe his game-changing knock of 281 against Australia in 2001 at Eden Gardens. But that innings came after several years of hard work and dedication to the sport, first as a schoolboy playing for local teams and then as a Ranji player for Hyderabad before he broke into the national side. Playing for India wasn't all that easy, either. He was dropped as often as he was picked, and despite vast experience and skill, he never made it to a World Cup team.
Even during his playing years as one of the Fab Five - alongside Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid and Sehwag - Laxman was known to be a softspoken man who preferred to stay away from controversy. Which is what makes this telling truly special. It's candid and reflective, happy and sad by turn, and deeply insightful. One of the best cricket books of our time.
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