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India's 'testing' times at Eden

Last updated on: February 12, 2010 18:23 IST

India's 'testing' times at Eden

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The Eden Gardens has always been a mixed bag for Team India. While there were some historic victories, they suffered many disappointing losses as well on the ground.

As India and South Africa head into the second Test at the Kolkata venue on Sunday, it is the visitors, already 1-0 up in the two-Test series, who will be high on confidence, not just because of the overwhelming victory in the first Test at Nagpur, but also because of past performances at the venue.

A look at some memorable Tests at the Eden.


Image: The South African team during a practice session on Friday
Photographs: Reuters
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Kirsten, Bhajji keep honours even

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India vs South Africa, 2nd Test, December 1, 1996

India were comprehensively beaten. India's current coach and player then, Gary Kirsten hit centuries in both innings (102 & 133) as India lost the match by 329 runs.

Venkatesh Prasad picked six wickets for 104 runs in the first innings to emerge India's standout performer.

However, in the 2004-05 series, India comprehensively beat the visitors by eight wickets. Harbahjan Singh claimed 7 for 87 in the second innings.

India needed to score only 116 for victory.


Image: Gary Kirsten

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Rawalpindi Express derails India

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Asian Test Championship, February 16, 1999

This is perhaps one of the landmarks in the subcontinent's cricket history. The Asian Test Championship involved India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Though it is not a regular event in the cricketing calendar, Pakistan won the inaugural one at the Eden Gardens, beating their archrivals by 46-runs.

The year marked the rise of Shoaib Akhtar, whose pace wreaked havoc on India's batsmen.

India had a dream start to the match, having Pakistan on the mat at 6 for 26 before Moin Khan's 70 revived the innings and the visitors were all out for 185.

Akhtar (4-71) then followed it up with brilliant bowling, as India were dismissed for 223. The second innings was a complete Saeed Anwar affair. He hit an unbeaten 188 to put Pakistan on victory road. Srinath picked career-best figures of 8-86.

The Pakistan bowlers again came up with a brilliant performances. Shoaib, who came to be known the Rawalpindi Express later, claimed 4- 47 as India were shot out for 232 and lost the match by 46 runs.


Image: Shoaib Akhtar

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Laxman and Dravid thwart Aussies

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India vs Australia, 2nd Test, 2000-01

India, under Sourav Ganguly's captaincy, came from behind to beat the mighty Australians by 171 runs.

VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid stole the show with memorable batting. After dismissing the Aussies for 445, with Steve Waugh hitting a century, India were shot out at for a mere 171 in the first innings.

The Aussies enforced the follow-on, but this time around, India fought back, with Laxman hitting a historic 281 and Dravid 180. The Indians declared their second innings on the fifth day at 657, setting the Aussies an improbable target of 384 runs.

Australia went all out in the chase and were 106 for 1 at one stage, but lost wickets quickly and collapsed to 212 all out.

Harbhajan Singh, who was in Anil Kumble's shadow till then, made his presence felt on the international arena, claiming 6 for 73 as India scored a memorable win.

India became only the third country to win a match after following on.


Image: VVS Laxman

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Jumbo on the rampage

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India vs Pakistan 2nd Test 2004-05

India's ace leg-spinner Anil Kumble ran through the Pakistan middle-order as India cruised to a 195-run victory in the second Test.

Kumble finished with match figures of 10 for 161, but it was Rahul Dravid who was adjudged the man-of-the-match for his centuries in both innings of the Test.

Kumble's effort enabled India erase bitter memories of the eventful defeat to its archrivals at the Eden Gardens in 1999.

Dinesh Karthik's superb 93, when India were in a spot of bother at 156 for 4, must also have been in contention for the award. The youngster played out of his skin to ensure India had enough runs to defend when Pakistan came out to bat for the second time in the match.

At the start of the final day, theoretically, Pakistan still could win the Test. They had scored 93 for the loss of just one wicket in quick time at the end of day 4.

Their best batsmen were still waiting in the dressing room but, on the flip side, they were chasing a record total of 422 on a fifth day wicket. And added to that Kumble bowled brilliantly, ending up with figures of 38-16-63-7.


Image: Anil Kumble

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