Laxman pained at constant questioning of his place in team

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New Delhi, Nov 23 (UNI) Stylish Hyderabadi batsman VVS Laxman, who scored an unbeaten 57 to save India from the blushes, today expressed anguish over the raging debate of his place in the famed Indian batting line-up.

The 33-year-old batsman could not hide his anguish and said, ''It's unfortunate that even after having an average of over 50 in the last Test series against England, my place in the side is still doubted.'' When asked if there is any added pressure on him, Laxman said, ''I am used to playing under pressure, but what matter is my captain has faith in my ability.'' ''I am sure my teammates will take into consideration my previous records.'' Asked if the fall of three quick wickets have made the situation tough for India today, the 2002 Wisden Cricketer of the Year said, ''The situation was tense, we lost three wickets at that time. But I am glad that I came good. I would like to continue tomorrow from where I left.'' ''It was a very important knock for me. I was trying to play every ball on its merit,'' he added.

''Both Sourav and Dravid got out to good bowl, while Sachin's dismissal was unfortunate.'' Talking about his partnership with India's ODI captain Mahinder Singh Dhoni, the elegant stroke maker said, ''We tried to develop a partnership. He got out at the wrong time.'' When asked what target the team will look to set tomorrow, Laxman said, ''It is difficult to set a target on this wicket. It is important that we put up a good total. The wicket is deteriorating. It is imperative to get as much lead as possible.'' On left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir, who gave Pakistan two important breakthroughs in the form of Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid in the span of three overs, Laxman said, ''Tanvir was difficult bowler to pick. Getting used to him was tough early on.'' Laxman though counted Shoaib Akhtar's spell as important and said, ''Shoaib bowled the best among the Pakistani bowlers.'' UNI

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