Nottingham: India's middle order mainstay VVS Laxman reckons his world number side has the ability to bounce back in the four-match Test series against England as the second game starts on Friday. (Agencies)
India lost the first Test at Lord's by a mammoth 196 runs, but Laxman said it will have no impact on the team, which has a reputation of not doing well in series openers.
“We have the potential to bounce back and we have done that in the past,” Laxman said.
The elegant middle order bat recalled last year's series against South Africa, where India made a strong comeback to draw the rubber after losing the first Test at Centurion.
“We lost badly against South Africa in Centurion but came back strongly to draw the Test series for the first time on South African soil,” he said.
India surrendered meekly at Centurion, losing by an innings and 25 runs but gave South Africa a taste of their own medicine by scripting an 87-run win in Durban. India had the third Test almost in their bag before Jacques Kallis saved the Proteas with a gritty knock.
India find themselves in a pretty similar situation against England at the moment, largely due to the English bowlers' ruthlessness, but Laxman is not losing his sleep thinking about the opposition attack.
“I would not put much importance on the way English bowlers bowled. They just bowled at good areas, they got their wickets and rewards. It was not an exceptional bowling attack where they ran through our batting,” he said.
“Had they got us within 150 in both the innings, then I would have accepted that they ran through our batting attack,” Laxman said.
Laxman conceded that India were hit hard by the absence of strike bowler Zaheer Khan, who could bowl just 13.3 overs in the Lord's Test after straining his hamstring in the first morning.
“The difference was the 150-120 runs extra that we gave to England and it was due to the absence of Zaheer Khan. If we had a third regular seamer or someone like Zaheer, who would have run through their batting, the results would have been different. We had them at 65 for five and if we had one more fresh bowler, we would have probably bowled them out and then we had to chase something around 260-280 which we would have done easily,” said Laxman.
Recalling that match, which has been chosen as the all-time best by a panel comprising Geoffrey Boycott, Michael Vaughan and Waugh, Laxman said, "To be very honest, when we went into third day's afternoon, when Steve put us in following on, the opening partnership between (Sadagopan) Ramesh and (Shiv Sundar) Das laid the foundation for us.
“And when I walked in on third day evening, I never thought about a turnaround in the Test match. We went out with mind-set to play each ball to its merit and prolong the game as long as possible.”
Nottingham: India's middle order mainstay VVS Laxman reckons his world number side has the ability to bounce back in the four-match Test series against England as the second game starts on Friday.