On this day in 2001, V.V.S Laxman scored his first one-day hundred against a strong Australian bowling line-up at Nehru stadium, Margao. Coming in to bat at No. 3, the Hyderabadi batsman played a brilliant knock of 101 runs off 107 balls that helped India to put up a fighting total of 265/6 in 50 overs. Skipper, Sourav Ganguly also scored an excellent half-century (74 off 83 balls) at the top of the order to give India the perfect start in the 5th and deciding ODI.
In reply to India’s total, Australia marched to victory with 4 wickets in hand and 12 balls to spare. Adam Gilchrist and Michael Bevan showed class with the bat, they scored 76 and 87 runs respectively. The Aussies sealed the series in the process. Laxman’s knock went in vain as India lost the game, but his assault on the Aussie bowlers marked the inception of an era which was dominated by VVS, a batsman of a special class.
VVS was fondly called as "Very Very Special Laxman" by his fans for his incredible stroke-play and solid batting. Generally, when the going gets tough in adverse situations, Laxman stood out to be the lone warrior for Team India to snatch wins and draws from nearly impossible scenarios. His wristy flicks and drives on the on-side grabbed attention worldwide and earned him the status of a Modern Great of the Game!
Before retiring from international cricket, VVS became one part of a famed quartet in 2000’s that had Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and Sourav Ganguly, who ruled the world cricketing arena for more than a decade.