Laxman shows confidence ahead of the Boxing Day Test

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Melbourne, Dec 23 (UNI) One of the world's most successful batsman in Australia, VVS Laxman is all geared up for the first Test against Australia and said that going by his recent form, he is confident of putting up a good performance Down Under.

''I am happy with the way I batted and made runs against Pakistan,'' he said. ''I hope to score runs this time too. Last time around, I was quite consistent and contributed to the team's cause.

I have always enjoyed batting here, it's a great place to play cricket. It is also an opportunity to do well against a very good side.'' Laxman said that the team's success will also depend on how well they play to compile big first innings score and for that they'll have to bat for longer periods. ''Whenever we have won overseas, we have got huge runs in the first innings. I would like to contribute there.'' He also showed confidence in the renowned Indian middle order and dismissed comments that the ageing Indian batsmen are no where close to their best.

He said the current form of Team India would not slip against the mighty Australians. ''I don't think we are past our prime.

Everyone got runs against Pakistan, and the manner in which we got the runs is indicative of our form. It's good that there is competition, and everyone in the group realises the importance of playing for the country.'' However, he maintained that it would be hard to beat Australia but not impossible. He said that India can not afford to give Aussies any chances to make an impact in the upcoming matches.

''If you give them an inch, they will walk all over you,'' he added.

''Because of the intensity with which Australia play their cricket, we raised our level last time. The intensity shown by the Aussies will help us lift ourselves this time too,'' he added.

Laxman was one of the start performers when India last toured Australia in 2003-04, compiling two big hundreds in the series which India drew 1-1.

India will play their first Test against Australia on December 26 at Melbourne.

UNI

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