Greatness has countless definitions. In cricket, the victory margin, consistency and strong performances against world-class sides are some elements that reflect what a team is made of. But what separates ‘the greatest’ show from ‘a great’ show is the character that you display when the odds are against you.
Eden Gardens, the mecca of Indian Cricket, has many tales to tell. Home of Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, it carries a rich history.
Let’s walk down the memory lane and take you through five most iconic moments that were witnessed at Eden Gardens:
2nd Test, India vs Australia - Border–Gavaskar Trophy, 2001
One of the greatest comebacks in Test cricket ever was what we saw in the course of the five days of the Eden Test in 2001. Against a world champion Australian side, the Indian team was down and out at one point and were forced to follow-on. But Laxman (281) and Dravid (180) came out with a unique plan in India’s second innings. They schooled the Australian bowling line-up and played arguably the best innings of their life. A young Harbhajan Singh too made name for himself, taking a hat-trick and ending the match with 13 wickets under his belt. India won the match by 171 runs.
South Africa v India at Kolkata on Nov 10, 1991
Eden Gardens was both honoured and privileged to host the first ODI that was played against South Africa. It was South Africa’s first ever international match after their readmission to international cricket. India won the match by 3 wickets.
4th ODI, India vs Sri Lanka, Nov 13, 2014
Rohit Sharma calls Kolkata his second home. And why shouldn’t he? The Mumbaikar’s highest limited-overs knock came right here at Eden Gardens. Rohit smoked 9 sixes and smashed 33 fours in his innings of 264 that came in just 173 balls. Eden Gardens’ crowd enjoyed that innings from Rohit, and the ‘hitman’ himself shares great memories at the venue. His highest score (177) in Tests was also recorded at Eden Gardens. And guess what, that was his debut match!
West Indies vs England - 2016 World T20I Final
FOUR sixes in a row by Carlos Brathwaite off the bowling of England’s Ben Stokes in that last over is something that fans of Windies Cricket will remember forever! Yes, all of that happened at Eden Gardens. Our Knight Andre Russell too had a great time with the ball in that match. He bowled the second most economical spell in his quota of four overs (1/21).
2nd Test, India vs Australia -Mar 18, 1998
Over the years, Eden Gardens has witnessed some of Cricket’s biggest battles. VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid’s innings during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2001 can be marked as the best people have ever seen. But there was another innings of great character played right there. Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin too had great memories at this ground. During the second Test against Australia in 1998, he scored a match-winning 163*. India went on to win the Test by an innings and 219 runs. Azhar has 860 runs to his name at an average of 107.50 in the seven Tests he has played at Eden Gardens.