Durban:For a man who makes the team feel it is in safe hands more often than anybody else, VVS Laxman attracts too many doubters. Even after his three second-innings specials in successive Tests this year, there were a few left to be won over. Especially after his failure in the first Test. It was said that all his celebrated efforts earlier this year - the hundred in the chase at P Sara Oval, the Mohali magic, the match-saving innings from 15 for 5 in Ahmedabad - came on low and slow tracks against bowling that wasn't exactly extraordinary. It was said that, while he was mentally good under pressure, his technique wasn't actually tested. And that his body was giving in.
If after this 96 - the second-best score so far in this Test is 38, also by him - anybody has doubts as to who India's best batsman in crisis and on testing pitches is, we and that person are not watching the same game. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that, under pressure, he is one of the best in the world in this era.