The Eden Gardens was a cauldron. The humidity added to the challenge that V. V. S. Laxman and Rahul Dravid faced as they walked out to the middle. Laxman’s mind was cluttered as he looked at the day with hopes and apprehensions. Resuming the innings at 109, with Dravid just seven runs on the board, he knew it was going to be a long day once again. He was prepared.

“I never realised at the end of the day I would have gained lessons in life,” Laxman told Sportstar. “Life lessons from a game that I so loved. Even as I reflect on that epic day, I sometimes feel it was so unreal.” But then it was so real in that wonderful theatre of cricket where many a rousing battle had been fought. Laxman was to emerge a modern day warrior, his batting reaching unthinkable heights.

“The day is fresh. The match is fresh,” Laxman told Sportstar. “In fact, the success of that match set a…

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