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banner Wednesday, 14 March, 2001, 12:47 GMT
Too good to be true
VVS Laxman
Laxman acknowledges the applause
A stunned Vangipurappu Laxman was hugged by his captain Sourav Ganguly as he left the field at Eden Gardens having broken India's batting records.

Click here for scorecard

Laxman broke Sunil Gavaskar's 18 year-old-record to post the highest score by an Indian in a Test match.

He finished the day on 275 not out with Rahul Dravid alongside him on 155.

The fifth-wicket pair batted all day to put on a record unbroken partnership of 357 as India, following on 274 runs behind, amassed 589-4 by the close on the fourth day.

Laxman, a 26-year-old from Hyderabad, compiled the highest score on Indian soil, surpassing West Indian Rohan Kanhai's 256 against India in the Calcutta Test in 1958-59.

He also overtook Gavaskar's 236 not out against the West Indies in Madras in 1983.

Dravid congratulates Laxman
Dravid congratulates Laxman

Dravid and Laxman's partnership was India's best for the fifth wicket in Test cricket, surpassing 214 by Mohammad Azharuddin and Ravi Shastri against England at the same venue in 1984.

"Too good to be true," was Laxman's stunned reaction.

"To surpass a man of Gavaskar's stature is a great honour. But I am happy my effort has given India hope.

"Once we saw off the first hour, I knew we could bat all day. It was just a matter of sticking it out there."

Asked about his target for the final day, Laxman replied: "Yes, absolutely - 300 I am aiming at."

Dravid was, unsurprisingly, unstinting in his praise of his partner.

"He made it look all so easy," he said.

"I owe my century to Laxman, but I hope it has silenced some people who had predicted that I would not get runs against the Australians."

Australian coach John Buchanan acknowledged the prospect of their run of 16 consecutive Test victories coming to an end.

"We've been in the field for a couple of days now, despite having enforced the follow-on.

"Yes, it has been a lot of hard work and it feels even harder when you get little or no return for the effort you put in."

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