Stadium visit: India’s top five Test grounds

Some of the grounds offer seaming wickets today contrary to the rank turners like yesteryears; here are the top venues for Test cricket in India.

A floodlit Eden Gardens during India's maiden pink ball Test against Bangladesh in November 2019.   -  FILE PHOTO/K.R. DEEPAK

Cricket looks like a difficult proposition in the times of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Most of the tournaments, including the glamorous Indian Premier League, is in limbo. The ongoing World Test Championship as well as the ICC T20 World Cup later this year has entered the corridor of uncertainty.

Sportstar takes a look at India's successful Test venues, hoping that the action resumes soon.

Eden Gardens, Kolkata: In 1934, during the British Raj, India played its first Test against England at this iconic venue. The match had ended in a draw despite the opponent having an upper hand throughout the course of the four innings. C.K. Nayudu was leading the Indian side; the other bigwigs included Lala Amarnath, Vijay Merchant and Syed Mushtaq Ali.

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India took 28 more years to register its first victory here, coincidentally against England under the leadership of Nari Contractor. Till date, India has won 13 out of the 42 Tests at Eden. It lost nine Tests and the remaining 20 ended in a draw.

Eden is also remembered for the epic 376-run stand between V.V.S. Laxman and Rahul Dravid against Australia in 2001.   -  FILE PHOTO/ PTI

 

Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi: Earlier known as Feroz Shah Kotla, the ground in the capital entered the cricketing map in 1948. India managed to settle for a draw against the West Indies. Four years later, India secured its first win here, against Pakistan.

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Off-spinner Ghulam Ahmed’s only Test fifty and highest score (50) drove India in its first innings. He turned out to be the star of the match by claiming four wickets in Pakistan’s second essay. This ground is also known for Anil Kumble’s 10/74 against Pakistan in 1999. Out of 34 Tests, India won 13, lost six and the remaining 15 ended in a draw.

M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai: India hosted England here in 1934. It lost the Test by 202 runs.

The M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, is also known for the historic Indo-Pak Test in 1999 where the host fell short by 12 runs.   -  FILE PHOTO/ V.V. KRISHNAN

 

The next Test happened in 1949 when it lost to the West Indies but in 1952, it finally secured its maiden victory, over England, by an innings and eight runs. Polly Umrigar and Vijay Hazare hit centuries while Vinoo Mankad’s slow left-arm spin fetched him eight wickets in England’s first essay. India won 14, lost six, one ended in a tie against Australia while the remaining 11 ended in a draw.

Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai: This stadium started operating slightly later compared to the first three. It held the first Test in 1975 where India lost to the West Indies but a year later, it beat New Zealand. Out of 25 Tests, India won 11, lost seven and the remaining seven ended in a draw.

Sachin Tendulkar returns to the pavillion after his farewell knock against the West Indies in 2013.   -  FILE PHOTO/ K.R. DEEPAK

This also happened to be the ground where batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar played his farewell game in 2013 against the Caribbeans.

M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru: The Bengaluru stadium opened gates in 1974 against the West Indies. India lost but it beat England two years later by a mammoth 140 runs under Bishan Singh Bedi's captaincy. India has won eight Tests and lost six out of 23 at this venue; the remaining nine ended in a draw. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly registered his highest score, 239, here and in 2018, this ground welcomed Afghanistan into Test cricket.

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