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Laxman dedicates ton to Waugh, parents

January 03, 2004 18:33 IST

V V S Laxman's penchant for big knocks against Australia may have put the World champions at their wits end, but the stylish Hyderabadi batsman thinks it is "just a coincidence".

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The 29-year-old batsman smashed 178 of the most classy runs seen in Australia in a long, long time and put on a record 353-run partnership with double centurion Sachin Tendulkar to perch India in a strong position with a total of 650 for 5 on day 2 in the fourth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.

Laxman dedicated his outstanding century, which was studded with 30 fours, to Australia's retiring captain Steve Waugh and his parents.

"Steve has been an inspiration in my career and I dedicate this century to him as well as my father [V Shantaram] and mother [Satyabhama] who are around to see me in action," he said.

Laxman, who has four big hundreds -- 281, 167, 148 and 178 -- against Australia, dismissed talk that the sight of the World champions gets him going in Test cricket.

"It is really satisfying to get runs against the best bowling attack in the world, but I think it is just a coincidence [to score the big ones].

"It is just one of those things. I like to do well against any opposition and Australia, in particular, who I have followed with relish when I was coming up as a cricketer."

But Laxman still rates the 75 he scored in India's first innings in the first Test at Brisbane as his best knock of the series.

"I batted with good rhythm [today], but if you ask me to pick my innings of the series, I would put my 75, made in the first Test at Gabba, as something special," he said.

The right-hand batsman studiously avoided pulling or hooking during his innings because Australia, he said, bowled with a set plan.

"There were fielders in the deep and I could not have hooked with them around. But I am not cutting down on my shots. If I get a delivery to hook or pull I would do it."

Laxman has featured in 300-plus partnerships against Australia thrice, twice with Rahul Dravid and with Tendulkar today.

"I respect them both as players and individuals and it is always a great learning experience batting with Sachin. We have had some good partnerships in One-Day Internationals.

"When you are at the non-striker's end and you are watching the best batsman in the world play, it is an ongoing learning process for me."

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