India’s most iconic Test triumphs at Eden Gardens

first_imgAlthough India have won only 11 of their 39 Tests at the Eden Gardens, the stadium, established in 1864, has offered a vibrant experience to not only the players but also the fans who visited the stadium in thousands everytime. The home of the Bengal Ranji team has the capacity to accommodate more than 65,000 spectators. Before the renovation half-a-decade ago, the ground could seat nearly 90,000.The first Test match that India played in Kolkata was in 1934 against England that ended in a draw. The most runs in Test Matches that Eden has seen were scored by V.V.S. Laxman (1217 runs), followed by Rahul Dravid (962 runs).India are now set to play their historic 250th match at home in Kolkata which will see their first World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev ringing the bell on the first day of India’s second Test against New Zealand. The bell at the Eden Gardens, resembles the one at Lord’s. (Lukewarm response to second India vs New Zealand Test at Eden Gardens)Before the historic 250th home begins, let us go back and have a look at the five most iconic matches that took place in Eden Gardens till date -1. India vs England, 1962It took India 27 years to win their first Test that was held at Eden’s.  After drawing against England, the first match held in the stadium ever in 1934, the host country finally tasted victory in 1962 against their old rivals England. (India’s Mecca of Cricket, Eden Gardens not a heaven for the hosts)First victory in any stadium’s victory is not only important but also special. For India, this particular one was against their earlier colonial masters, which was even more special. India won by 187 runs.advertisement2. India vs West Indies, 1975It was the third Test between India – West Indies in December, 1975 that the host won by 85 runs. There is more than one reason why this match comes under five most important wins at Eden Gardens. (India could reclaim No.1 Test spot after Eden Gardens Test)The match was India’s third win at the stadium and it was against a very strong opponent. West Indies at that time had a very strong team with legends like Sir Andy Roberts, Bernard Julien, Roy Fredericks and Lance Gibbs among others.This was the only match won by India in the 5-match series against West Indies, who went home with a 2-1 victory.3. India vs Australia, 2001The match that is remembered by all cricket fans as ‘the mother of comeback’ is one of the greatest Test matches ever played.  The host won the match by 171 runs, thanks to amazing performances by the batting front who denied visitors a win of the series. (Ind vs NZ: Injured Jimmy Neesham to miss Kolkata Test )Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman emerged as heroes in one of their greatest batting Test performances after a 10-wicket thrasing by Australia in the first Test. India’s hopes of winning this Test had started to dwindle after the first four batsmen were gone.Dravid and player of the match Laxman added 376 runs for the fifth wicket while the latter broke record of first Indian to go past 250 runs in Test. Harbhajan Singh took six wickets to bowl India to an epic win.4. India vs Pakistan, 2005India had to win in Kolkata to take a lead in the series after being denied win in the first Test against Pakistan in Mohali. It was a high drama and performance match for the Indian side with exceptional performances by Dravid who scored twin centuries and wicket hero Anil Kumble who helped the host claim victory by 195 runs.Sourav Ganguly against Pakistan in 2005. (Reuters image) Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Dinesh Karthik added the charm to the match, helping India win the series by 1-0.5. India vs West Indies, 2013The match was special for the stadium as it was their favourite cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s last Test match in Kolkata and second last career wise.Rohit Sharma celebrates with partner Ashwin during the West Indies tour (Reuters image) Thousands came to the stadium to watch the match and pay tribute to Tendulkar, who was ending his 24-year-long brilliant career.  The stadium echoed the chants of ‘Sachin, Sachin’ even though the master blaster managed on 10 runs in the match won by India by an innings and 51 runs.The match proved important for India as they led the series by 1-0, thanks to brilliant performances by Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin. (Eden Gardens all set to make India’s 250th Test at home a grand occasion )advertisementNow, India will be playing their historic 250th home Test match at Eden Gardens against New Zealand. They are leading the series by 1-0. Let us see if this match can be added to the list of iconic matches that the stadium has seen till date.last_img

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