As the Ajinkya Rahane-led Indian team get ready for the third Test against Australia in Sydney, former India batsman VVS Laxman recalled the 2008 Sydney Test. The infamous encounter between the two teams is remembered mostly for the controversial monkeygate scandal involving Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh, but Laxman pointed out the umpiring howlers during the game that went in favour of the home team.
Speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected chat show, Laxman said that India were in with a chance of winning the Sydney Test in 2008.
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“I wouldn’t call it the Aussie arrogance. But I just feel after losing the Melbourne Test we had a great chance of winning the Sydney Test match. Yes, it will be remembered more for the Monkeygate but I thought we had a great chance of winning that Test match,” Laxman said.
“The bowlers, especially when we started bowling in the first innings took early wickets. Australia were under pressure and then Andrew Symonds, I think he was out two or three times and the umpires made huge blunders. I cannot ever forget the way I think RP Singh got the nick of Symonds,” added Laxman.
“There was a big sound but the umpire ruled not out. Unfortunately, that led to Andrew Symonds getting a big hundred and after that what followed, especially on the last day, the way Sourav and Rahul were out I think was in very poor taste,” he added.
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Speaking on the monkeygate scandal, Laxman said that it was blown out of proportion.
“The Monkeygate issue was blown out of proportion. At one time we thought we will call off the series,” Laxman said.
“Anil (Kumble) as the captain acted like a diplomat. I think the BCCI ultimately made the right decision and we continued with the series,” Laxman signed off.