There are few greater contrasts in the cricket world than the back of the Warner Stand at Lord's, with its pervasive ambience of old school English privilege, thinly disguised wealth and liberally-consumed champagne, and the dusty acres of the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Hyderabad in India, where, over the past few days, an Indian side successfuly marrying new and old, youth and experience, put an anaemic and underprepared New Zealand side to the sword.

Sitting in the Warner shade on a steamy Saturday morning as England played South Africa in August 2012, an idle glance at Cricinfo revealed that VVS Laxman, a son of Hyderabad himself, had retired from Test cricket.

It would be an exaggeration to say that the news brought sadness, or even surprise. It had been coming for a while and merely marked the latest staging point in India's transition from a team pivoted around a group of ageing superstars to one with a fresher, more original hue.

All that can and needs to be said about Laxman has already been said by many people far better qualified than me to do so. In particular Murali Kartik, a player from the same Indian generation who, though chiefly a bowler, shared much of Laxman's elegance and ease of style. For this, certainly for those of us in England who were denied the specific memories of his greatest days in India and Australia, is what will pervade.

A bowler - any bowler, but perhaps Brett Lee - pitches the ball on a good length, off stump line, and Laxman leans forward, slightly off perfect balance but eyes level, and whips the ball through midwicket with an air that is businesslike and slightly apologetic. 'This hurts me a little', he seems to say, 'but this has to be done'.

Laxman's replacement, Cheteshwar Pujara, is cut from very different cloth. There is little flamboyance or elegance there, but there is high talent, ambition and patience. He left the field in Hyderabad plainly disappointed to have only made 159. He was expecting far more.

In time, you can be sure, he will get it.

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