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Five most iconic Test innings played at Eden Gardens

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Nawang Chugh


If Lord's is the Home of Cricket, then Eden Gardens is the Mecca of Indian Cricket. The ground has been a witness to some of the most memorable moments in Test cricket, and here are some of the iconic innings played at this venue.

5. Alastair Cook's 190 against India

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England produced one of their best performances against India in 2012 when Cook’s gentlemen toured for the 4-match Test series. After levelling the series in the second Test, England were ready to create history at Eden Gardens. India, after winning the crucial toss, decided to bat first which eventually resulted in a failure as the hosts were able to make only 316 runs in the first innings with the help of Sachin’s 76.

Alistair Cook did not let his side down as the English captain scored a power-packed 190 with 23 boundaries and two sixes. His innings helped England reach a massive total of 523 runs. English bowlers bowled out India for 247 in the second innings after which the visitors need to score only 41, which they achieved quite easily. They won the series 2-1 after the fourth Test in Nagpur ended in a draw.

4. Rohan Kanhai's 265 against India

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West Indies were an expert in winning away matches in the late 50s till the early 90s. On their tour of India in 1958-59, they took a 1-0 lead after winning the 2nd Test at Kanpur. The next platform was the Eden Gardens, and the Indian fans were expecting that their team would turn the tables.

Rohan Kanhai, the backbone of the West Indies side at that time, scored an unbelievable 256 with the help of 42 boundaries. His iconic innings helped West Indies in putting up the total of 614 for 5. In reply, the Indian side could not manage to score even the half of the runs in both of their innings. The visitors clinched this match with an innings and 336 runs and, eventually, won the 5-match series 3-0.

3. Rahul Dravid's 180 against Australia

Laxman’s iconic 281 against Australia would not have been possible without this man’s contribution. Rahul Dravid came in when India were 4 down for 232 in the second innings when asked to follow-on by the Australians. He held the fort at his end and then accelerate his innings with VVS when the bowlers were tired. The dependable Dravid not only took India to a better position but gave his team a huge lead of 383 runs. He along with Laxman scored 376 runs for the fifth wicket and gave India a historic victory.    

2. Mohammad Azharuddin's 163* against Australia

After winning the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at Chennai in 1998, Team India was confident of grabbing the series at the Eden Gardens. From the start of the innings, the visitors started struggling as they lost Slater and Blewett in the first over of Srinath. Nothing went right for the Kangaroos in the 1st innings except Steve Waugh’s 80 in the middle order. Australia were dismissed for 233 and it gave India a golden chance to take a massive lead.             

The hosts did not miss out on the opportunity and put up 633 runs on the board with the help of Azhar’s top-class 163*. Though every batsman contributed well, Azhar’s century remained the most memorable one. Team India stuck to the basics in Australia’s 2nd innings as well and wrapped them up at 181. They won the second test and series comfortably. Srinath got the Man of the Match award for his brilliant bowling, but it was Azharuddin who achieved the glory.

1. VVS Laxman's 281 against Australia

Indian cricket was going through a tough phase in the early 2000-2001. On the other side, Australia, after winning the World Cup of 1999, were known as the super power of that time. They toured India in 2000-01 with the motive of beating India on their home turf. The visitors grabbed a 10-wicket victory in the first Test and were looking to finish things off in the next match at the Eden Gardens.

Australia, after electing to bat first at Kolkata, scored 445 runs and bundled out India for 171 with their tremendous bowling attack. The hosts were asked to follow-on and were again struggling at 115 for 3. Who would have thought that something ‘Very Very Special’ is on the cards? After the 3rd wicket had fallen, VVS Laxman came to pull out India from the trouble, and the wristy batsman did that in style by scoring an unforgettable 281. He got great support from Rahul Dravid and along with ‘The Wall’, they put up a partnership of 376 runs. In the fourth innings, India set a massive target of 384 for Australia, but the visitors could not reach the same and were dismissed for 212. It still remains one of the greatest comebacks in the game of cricket.