Gaurav Kalra: I want to start by asking you, as a kid growing up, if there was one place in the world where you could have played Test cricket other than India, it would be Australia, wouldn’t it?
VVS Laxman: Yeah, definitely, because right from my childhood, I’ve always enjoyed watching Test matches in Australia. I used to get up early in the morning and switch on the TV to watch the Test matches being played and listen to legends like Richie Benaud, Ian Chappell and Bill Lawry. They were so knowledgeable about the game and you could learn so much just hearing them. Somehow, there was some appeal, to me, to watch the games there and luckily for me, I got an opportunity to play for the country and I got my first hundred in Australia. I’ve always enjoyed touring Australia, that’s one place where I love playing cricket.
GK: And it’s your fourth tour now to Australia. Honestly Laxman, did you think on the last tour in 2007-08 that you would be going back for another one?
Laxman: Well, I don’t think too far ahead, you know. But saying that, definitely (I did). In 2007, I was still fit and I was still enjoying my game. I think that’s the most important thing for me, you know, (that) when you get up early in the morning, you should still have the enthusiasm to go out and do well for the country and for your team. It was there in 2007 and it’s still there with me. So I don’t really plan too much ahead, but saying that, it’s great that I’m making my fourth trip to Australia. Hopefully, even this time around, we’ll do well there.
GK: All of the three trips you’ve been on previously, you’ve never come back from Australia not having scored a hundred in a Test match there. That’s a great record. Do you look at that record with an enormous amount of the pride, the things that you’ve achieved in Australia already in Test cricket?
Laxman: No, not particularly only that record. But definitely, doing well against Australia and contributing to the team’s success in Australia, I think we take a lot of pride in that. Because after our first tour to Australia in 1999-2000, everyone knows we were defeated 3-0 and almost humiliated there. But that series was a great learning experience for a lot of us who were on our first tour to Australia and we always wanted to do well in Australia because while we were growing up, everyone knew that the Australian tour and the South African tour posed a lot of challenge to the subcontinent batsmen. I’m very happy that I’ve been a consistent performer on all these three tours, so I take a lot of pride in that, the knocks which helped the team to win the Test matches.