India will be up against England in 4 Tests, 5 T20Is, and a three-match ODI series. With the first Test between Virat Kohli’s men and Joe Root-led side, the international cricket returns to India after almost 11 months since the coronavirus pandemic. Cricket fans are excited to see their favourite players in full-fledged action.
Notably, the much-anticipated series opener is scheduled to take place from February 5 at the iconic MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai.
The stadium is named after the former President of BCCI and Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, MA Chidambaram. It was formerly known as Madras Cricket Club Ground.
Established in 1916, the stadium has hosted plenty of Tests, ODIs, and T20 International matches. Since 2008, it is the home ground of one of the most successful franchises in the Indian Premier League, Chennai Super Kings.
Let’s take a look at some amazing and unknown facts about the MA Chidambaram stadium.
Second-oldest cricket ground in India
Owned by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, Chepauk is the second oldest cricket stadium in India after the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. If you visit this stadium, one of the most fascinating things that you will realize is that the local supporters are completely unbiased.
Chepauk crowd is rated as the most knowledgeable crowd in the country. It was evident from the fact that the Pakistani team received a standing ovation when they took a lap of the ground after a 12-run win over India in 1999.
MA Chidambaram Stadium, also known as Chepauk Stadium, has a capacity of 50,000 seats but it was reduced to 38,000 after the Supreme Court of India ordered to seal three stands (I, J & K) for safety reasons. The ground was renovated at a cost of 175 crore in June 2009. It has 24 hospitality boxes.
Records and Milestones
The highest individual score at this stadium in the ODI format was recorded by the former Pakistan batsman, Saeed Anwar, who smashed 194 runs in 1997.
If you take a look at the list of top 10 wicket-takers at this venue, you will find out nine of them are spinners and there is only one fast bowler in the form of Kapil Dev. Anil Kumble is the leading wicket-taker with 48 wickets, followed closely by Harbhajan Singh – 42 wickets.
Iconic records of Indian legends
Former India cricketer and one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket, Sunil Gavaskar scored his 30th Test hundred at this stadium in 1983, breaking Don Bradman’s record of the then most centuries (29) in the longest format of the game.
Besides, Gavaskar, the ‘God of Cricket’, Sachin Tendulkar also created history at the famous stadium. The Master Blaster has scored more runs at the Chepauk stadium than any other cricket ground in India with 876 in 9 Tests at an unbelievable average of 87.60.
Indian batting legend, Virender Sehwag holds the record of the highest score at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium in Test format with 319 runs off 304 balls in March 2008 against South Africa. This was Sehwag’s second triple century, the only other players who have scored two triple centuries in the longest format of the game are Don Bradman and Brian Lara.
Over the years, Chepauk Stadium has been a special venue for the Indian cricket team. Playing against England on this ground, Team India tasted its first victory in Tests in 1952 when they won by an innings and 8 runs.
Another important game to be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium was the Test match between India and Australia in 1986. It was the second match ever to be tied in the history of Test cricket.
In March 2001, India thrashed Australia by 2 wickets to clinch the Border Gavaskar Trophy in Chennai after their memorable triumph in Kolkata which ended the 16-match winning streak of Australia in red-ball cricket.
Other interesting facts
1. The first-ever Ranji Trophy game was played at the Chepauk.
2. Shane Warne, on the 15th October 2004, picked up his 533rd test wicket to become the leading wicket-taker in world cricket at that time.
3. For a long time, Chepauk hosted the famous Pongal (Harvest) test which used to be played in the month of January.
4. MS Dhoni became the first Indian wicketkeeper-batsman to score a double century in the first test against Australia in February 2013. It is also the highest score by a wicket-keeper captain.
Date: February 5 to February 9
Time: 9:30 AM IST
Venue: M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
How to watch in India
TV Channels: Star Sports Network
Live Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Besides English and Hindi, Star Sports will also provide coverage in regional languages like Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu.
Live streaming details (TV channels)
Dish TV – Channel 607 (Star Sports Hindi 1) Channel 603 (Star Sports 1) Channel 605 (Star Sports 2) Channel 650 (Star Sports 3) Channel 602 (Star Sports 1 HD) Channel 604 (Star Sports 2 HD)
Tata Sky – Channel 454 (Star Sports HD 1), Channel 455 (Star Sports 1), Channel 457 (Star Sports 2), Channel 460 (Star Sports 1 Hindi)