Laxman is one of the finest batsmen India has produced; he is a very tough character: Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid always rated VVS Laxman's ability with the bat very high and he minced no words on that. "He is one of the finest batsmen India has produced. Someone who I always thought had a very tough character. He simply loved challenges, loved a contest," said Dravid, according to a report in The Times Of India.

"We had spoken a few times after I had retired but I must admit that I was a little surprised at the timing (of the decision to quit), in the sense that he had been selected for the Tests against New Zealand," Dravid told TOI on Sunday. "But then we have to respect his decision, after all he is the best judge. The thing is he always played for the right reasons, right things. Perhaps he felt he was compromising some of that.

"It must have started crossing his mind that there are some youngsters who needed a look-in."

Meanwhile Sourav Ganguly writes in Hindustan Times that another master player calls it a day. “It’s a situation every sportsperson has to face — right from Pele, Maradona, Muhammad Ali and Bjorn Borg to the great Sir Donald Bradman. It’s not like other things in life, which go on forever. Sportspersons have a shelf life. After 16 memorable years of international cricket, VVS decided to call it a day on Saturday. I completely agree with Laxman’s way of stepping down, even after being selected for the Test series with New Zealand,” writes Sourav, adding that people like Laxman don’t need a farewell series.

“I know Kris Srikkanth is nearing the end of his tenure, but selectors need to remember that players shouldn’t be picked at their whims and fancies. If one is dropped on account of poor form, the same rule should apply to others as well. Making this sound like a farewell series does not make any sense. It’s a fantastic decision... By this, he has sent a loud and clear message to the selectors,” says Dada.

Meanwhile paying glowing tributes to VVS Laxman, who quit international cricket yesterday, selection committee chairman Krishnamachari Srikkanth said that the just-retired batsman should have got more recognition for his match-winning performances for the country, says a report in The Indian Express.

Laxman yesterday decided to walk into the sunset with immediate effect despite being picked in the Indian squad for the two-match Test series against New Zealand starting at his hometown in Hyderabad on August 23 and Srikkanth said he respected his decision to retire.

"Laxman is one of the greatest cricketers. He has won so many matches for India. He has won tremendous matches for India from no win situations. He should have got more recognition for his performances. More credit should go to him for his great performances," Srikkanth said.

"It is all in records as to how he had played in Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand. I respect his personal decision and wish him the very best," he added.