Melbourne, Dec 23 - India's mainstay in the middle-order V. V. S. Laxman feels having a big first innings score will be crucial for the visitors' success in the four-match series against Australia, beginning with the Boxing Day Test here Monday.
Laxman, who enjoys a great batting record against Australia, hopes that he would continue his good form and asked every member in the famed batting line-up to rise to the occasion.
"The key is to get big scores in the first innings. It puts the opposition under pressure. That is one area where we need to improve a lot. We need batsmen to get big hundreds so that we can set big totals on the board," Laxman told reporters here Friday.
Laxman, on his fourth tour here, has scored 1081 runs with four centuries from 11 Tests at an average of 54.04 in Australia. Overall, his 2279 runs from 25 matches falls only second in the list of leading scorers against Australia behind master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who has amassed 3151 runs in 31 games. And very few can forget Laxman's match-winning 281 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Laxman said he always dreamt of doing well in Australia and hoped to be among the runs on what probably will be his last tour here.
"I always dreamt of doing well in Australia. Like every time, I wish to score hundreds which help the team win. If it is a nightmare for Australia then I hope it continues."
Laxman is in awe of pitches in Australia, so much that he finds them better than the flat tracks in the sub-continent.
"I think Australian surfaces are best for batting. I relish them more than the sub-continent. Once you see off the new ball, you get true value for your shots. These wickets are ideal for stroke players."
India have put up a fight in the recent tours but still await their maiden series win after 60 years.
Many experts and former cricketers have already said this is India's best chance of securing a series victory. Laxman, referring to India's spirited performance in the last two trips, said it is a dream for every team member to win in Australia.
"Winning against Australia is a dream for all cricketers. It is probably the toughest cricket players can play. We are very proud of what we have done here in the past and it gives us a lot of confidence going into the first Test," he said. (IANS)
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