VVS Laxman’s poor returns in the third Test in Perth – which India lost by an innings and 37 runs – could ensure he has made his final appearance for the country. The Hyderabadi stylist’s career tally stands at 133 Test matches, from which he has scored 8728 runs at 46.17, and it may well end there.
After having a dreadful outing in the first two Tests in Melbourne and Sydney, the sword of Damocles was already hanging over Laxman's head, but his nine-ball duck in the second innings at the WACA may prove to be the final nail in the coffin.
It's disappointing that Laxman, who built his formidable batting reputation against the Australian bowling attack over the past decade or so, may not even get a farewell Test which he thoroughly deserves.
Laxman's form is on the wane in the past one year but it dipped sharply of late. Four single-digit scores and a lone fifty in six innings don't reflect the true quality of the man who has entertained cricket fanatics over the years with his wrist work.
Laxman, whose play is built more on a hand-eye co-ordination and less on feet movement, has always remained a little susceptible playing swing bowling. But his inability to tackle the moving ball is severely exposed in the on-going series and the one India played in England, where they suffered a humiliating whitewash.
But despite having a disappointing outing - averaging only 22.75 from four matches - in England, he was picked for Australia purely on reputation. And Australia has been one opposition which has often extracted the best out of Laxman.
His overall record against them is extremely impressive with an average of 50.65, including six hundreds, from 28 Tests. But his dreadful run in Australia this time and his mode of dismissals, poking at deliveries pitched full-length, is enough for the doubters to believe that the 37-year-old has passed his prime. He is only averaging 17 from six innings.
In 2009, he scored 471 runs in six Tests at an average of 67.28. In 2010, too, he scored 939 runs at average of 67.07. However, last year, Laxman started slipping and scored just 773 runs in 12 Tests at 40.68.