Hyderabad: Indian Test batsman VVS Laxman is desperate to help India regain their No 1 Test title, and has targeted the West Indies series starting November 6 as well as the tour of Australia later this year. India traveled to England this summer as the top Test side, but a 0-4 hammering saw then slip to third in the ICC's rankings for Test teams, behind England and South Africa.
"It is going to be an important series against the West Indies, especially after the dismal time we had in England. We want to come back strongly and regain the top position. We had worked hard during the last three to four years to get there," Laxman told the Times of India. "No one expected us to perform in that manner in England. It was a disappointing show. But we have done our introspection and have looked at the failures and will rectify those in the coming series."
While West Indies are no longer a dominant team, Laxman said they cannot be discounted completely. "I don't believe in underestimating the opposition - no matter who they are. At the same time I don't think too much of the opposition too. I believe in playing to my potential and doing my best out in the field. I think if we get our batting right then I'm sure we will start the season with a win."
Beyond the three-Test series, Laxman had the bigger picture in mind. "I always enjoyed touring Australia and I have always performed quite well. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to perform in tough conditions like Australia and against a quality bowling attack." In Tests, Laxman averages 55.58 against Australia and 54.05 in Australia.
India regained some pride with a 5-0 ODI drubbing of England at home recently, an achievement which left Laxman very happy. "It was great to see the one-day team respond so splendidly against England at home by whitewashing them. Hopefully, the Test team too will start off the season on a winning note so that we will be high on confidence before leaving for Australia," he said.
Laxman was full of praise for the younger generation who helped India whitewash England in the home ODIs. "The performance of youngsters like Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav is a great sign for the Indian team," he said. "It is nice to see the youngsters helping the side win in the absence of the senior players. It is always a good feeling when there is solid bench strength. I'm sure Indian cricket will benefit immensely over the coming years."