Any cricketer who has played at the highest level would testify that performing in front of the home crowd can unnerve even the best in the business. The expectations of the crowd create a mountain of pressure under which many crumble.
Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, although the apple of the eye of the Kolkata crowd, could hardly replicate his silken drives on the off and lofted maximums to spinners in front of his home crowd at Eden Gardens.
Although he salvaged some pride by scoring a ton in his last test on the ground, his average still remained a measly 31 at Eden Gardens. But once away from the home crowd pressure, the Royal Bengal Tiger roared with his bat in front of crowds all over the world. Ganguly is not the only cricketer but one in the long list of many who relished playing at a ground away from their own home ground.
Some piled on so many runs on their adopted home grounds that it's easy to forget their real home grounds.Here we take a look at some of those whose stories won’t be complete without a chapter on their love affairs with their homes away from home.
1. VVS Laxman – Eden Gardens, Kolkata
The wristy Hyderabadi right-hander earned himself a place in the history in 2001 with a career-defining 281 at Eden Gardens against Australia. In an unforgettable turnaround, after following on and staring at defeat, VVS Laxman stitched a 376 run stand with Rahul Dravid and set up India’s victory in that match. The team then went on to snatch victory in the following test at Chennai to halt the Australian juggernaut and won the series.
The team then went on to snatch victory in the following test at Chennai to halt the Australian juggernaut and won the series. This was the beginning of a love affair with Edens in a grand fashion as the Hyderabadi would go on to make the ground his own by ending with 4 more centuries and three half centuries.
Laxman scored 1217 runs in 15 innings at a mammoth average of 110.63. Till date, Laxman remains the only Indian to score 1000 runs at a single ground with an average more than 100.