Three Indian cricketers with an exceptional record at Eden Gardens
The iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata is all set to host the first ever day/night Test in India between India and Bangladesh during November 22-26. The Test is all set to witness the presence of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is also likely to request Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to attend the first day of the Kolkata Test.
Eden Gardens has been witness to some historic events in the past as well. The stadium with the biggest capacity in India hosted the first World Cup final that was played outside England, in 1987. The ground also played host to the first-ever Asian Test Championship match between India and Pakistan, in 1999. It was at Eden Gardens itself that India snapped Australia’s record 16-match winning streak in Tests.
Apart from being renowned for its history, Eden Gardens has been the favourite hunting ground of some famous Indian cricketers. In this feature, we take a look at three Indians with outstanding record at Eden Gardens.
#3. Harbhajan Singh
It was at Eden Gardens that Harbhajan Singh revived his international career after a mediocre start, picking up the first hat-trick by an Indian in Test cricket and then going on to stun Australia despite being asked to follow on in the same match. In the 2001 Test against the Aussies, the off-spinner picked up 7 for 123 in 37.5 overs, which included the hat-trick. However, it was in the second innings that the Turbanator caused even greater damage, claiming 6 for 73 as India won the famous Test by 171 runs, and grounded the high-flying Aussies.
Singh was the Man of the Match in the 2004 Test against South Africa at the venue, with figures of 7 for 87 in Proteas’ second innings as they were bowled out for 222. The off-spinner dismissed most of the big guns -- Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and Hashim Alma among others -- to set up an eight-wicket triumph for India. Six years later, Singh returned with figures of 3 for 64 and 5 for 59 at the same venue as South Africa went down by an innings and 57 runs despite Amla scoring a hundred in each innings. For India, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni all scored hundreds.
In 2007, Singh claimed 5 for 122 in the first innings against Pakistan in a high-scoring draw. He also claimed a five-for in the only Test he played against West Indies, in 2002. The match, which saw hundreds from Wavell Hinds, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels and Tendulkar, ended in a stalemate.
Harbhajan Singh’s record at Eden Gardens: 7 Tests, 46 wickets, 21.76 average, 6 five-wicket hauls, one 10-wicket haul, 7/87 best bowling figures (in an innings).
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