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Given his form, Sourav will get a big hundred in his 100th Test: Laxman
- We can win if we play to potential, says Team India’s senior pro
V.V.S. Laxman

Melbourne: With an average of 52-plus in 16 Tests, V.V.S. Laxman has been one of the most successful against Australia in recent memory. On Sunday afternoon, he spoke to the media at the MCG and, later, briefly interacted with The Telegraph.

The following are excerpts

On many believing that the present team is the finest from India to tour Australia

We can win if we play to potential... One can’t give away even an inch, or else the Australians will walk over you... One has to be aggressive and the mindset has much to do with doing well against Australia... One does need lots of self belief.

On his excellent record against Australia

(Smiles) I’m hoping to again contribute... It’s nice to do well against a great side...

On conditions being very different from home

One expects the wickets to be hard and bouncy, so one is prepared. It’s much the same in South Africa.

On whether counter-attacking is the best strategy

Depends on the situation.

On a stand out memory from previous tours

Quite easily the way we performed on the last tour (2003-04)... Won’t forget it.

On whether he has been targeted by the Australians for sledging

Haven’t felt it that way.

On Team India’s approach

We’d raised our intensity on the last tour and came close to winning the Test series... As I’ve said, one needs to be aggressive... One needs to play one’s normal game... Whenever we’ve done well (overseas), we’ve put up a big total in the first innings...

On whether he has a goal

To perform consistently.

On whether he’s aiming to repeat 1999-00, when a brilliant hundred in the last Test (Sydney) helped him stay on for the ODIs

I’m not thinking of the ODIs... Right now, I’m focused on the first Test and the Test series.

On playing at the MCG, where the series begins on Boxing Day

The atmosphere is amazing and taking to the field on Boxing Day is some experience... It’s different from the Eden Gardens as you feel that the crowd here is closer to you... I’ve appeared in two Boxing Day Tests and am looking forward to the third.

On the difference in batting at No.3 and at No.6

At No.3, one has to set the game up... At No.6, one plays according to the situation...

On whether he will bat at No.3 at the MCG

I don’t know... The combination is being worked out.

On whether Yuvraj Singh has put the Test regulars under pressure

Nobody thinks about holding on to a slot... What’s important is to do well and maintain a high level of intensity. That’s the need at this level.

On his own performance in the last series (against Pakistan, an average of 209)

It was nice to be among the runs... I hope to continue playing the way I’ve been doing in the past six months... I’m happy with my form.

On Brad Hogg, the Australians’ sole specialist spinner

He’s not an orthodox left-arm spinner, but has played a big role in ODIs... Playing him will be a challenge... I’m not one to degrade any bowler.

Finally, on Sourav Ganguly being days away from his 100th Test

It’s great for any cricketer to play 100 Tests... Sourav has, over the years, done exceedingly well... Given his form, he will get a big hundred in his 100th Test!

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