Eden Gardens in Kolkata is all set to host Bangladesh in the first-ever Day-Night Test in India. This will be an iconic moment in Indian cricket history and might pave the way for Day-Night Tests to be an annual fair. Thus, Eden will enter the record books for hosting the first-ever Day-Night Test in India. Over the decades, there have been countless Eden Garden records that have been of significant value to Indian cricket.
As we look forward to another momentous event at the Eden Gardens, it would be a good time to look back on some important records and numbers from the historic venue in Test cricket.
The first-ever Test match that was played at the Eden Gardens was between India and England from January 5, 1934. The Indian team was led by the charismatic CK Nayudu and England’s Douglas Jardine was leading his team.
After batting first, England posted 403 on the board and then bowled India out for 241 and 237 respectively. England was 7-2 in the second innings when the match eventually ended in a draw. Opener Dilawar Hussain’s composed 59 was the highest scorer for India in the match.
Highest team total:
India’s mammoth 657-7 (dec.) against Australia in March 2001 is the highest team total at the Eden Gardens. India achieved this total courtesy that epic 376-run partnership between VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid who led an incredible Indian fightback after they had been asked to follow-on.
It is one of those Eden Garden records that has stood for 18 years now and looks unlikely to be broken anytime soon.
Eden Garden records – Most runs scored by a batsman:
The Eden Gardens was India’s VVS Laxman’s happy hunting ground. In 10 Tests here, Laxman compiled 1217 runs at a terrific average of 110.63 with 5 hundreds and 3 fifties. His love affair with the Eden began when he struck that epic 281 against Australia in March 2001 – also his highest score on the venue.
The second batsman with most runs at the Eden Gardens is Rahul Dravid with 962 runs in 9 Tests followed by the great Sachin Tendulkar who had 872 runs here in 13 Tests.
Eden Garden records -Most wickets:
Unsurprisingly, it is Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh who leads the chart of the highest wicket-taker in the Eden Gardens. “Bhajji” had 46 wickets in only 7 Tests at Kolkata with 6 five-wicket hauls and a best of 7-87 v South Africa in 2004. Harbhajan first made his mark at the Eden with his incredible hat-trick against Australia in March 2001 – becoming the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket. This will certainly go down as one of the most special Eden Garden records.
Harbhajan is followed by Anil Kumble on this list who had 40 wickets in 8 Tests at the Eden Gardens with 2 five-wicket hauls and a best of 7-63 against Pakistan in 2005.
Highest individual score:
VVS Laxman’s unforgettable and epic knock of 281 against Australia in March 2001 has remained the highest individual score by a batsman at the Eden Gardens. That performance was special on so many counts. It was then the highest individual score by a batsman in Tests for India. It also helped India overcome a certain defeat and the register the most remarkable Test victory against the mighty Aussies. This is certainly the most special of the Eden Garden records and it would take a herculean effort to overhaul it.
Before Laxman, the highest individual score by a batsman in Kolkata was West Indian batsman Rohan Kanhai’s glorious 256 against India in December 1958.
Best bowling figures:
South Africa’s Lance Klusener holds the coveted record for the best bowling figures at the Eden Gardens. The feat was achieved in the 1996 Test between India and South Africa.
Playing his maiden Test match, Klusener displayed great skills as he moved the ball around and extracted good bounce on a true Eden Gardens pitch. The Indian batsmen had no answers to Klusener’s sharp bowling and were bundled out for only 137. Klusener ended with sensational figures of 8-64. Not only were these the best bowling figures at the Eden, they still remain the best bowling figures yet in India-South Africa Tests.
Klusener is followed by India’s Javagal Srinath whose spell of 8-86 against Pakistan in 1999 is the second-best bowling figures at Kolkata.
Eden Garden records- Highest partnership:
The 2001 Test between India and Australia at Kolkata produced several Eden Garden records. One of the most significant ones, perhaps, is the record-breaking partnership between VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid. After being asked to follow-on, India was staring at certain defeat at 232-4 in the 2nd innings.
However, Laxman (281) and Dravid (180) stitched a mammoth 376-run partnership that not only bailed India out of trouble but helped them clinch a remarkable Test win by 171 runs.
Before the Laxman-Dravid heroics, the record for the best partnership at Eden Gardens was held by Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar who had an unbeaten stand of 344 runs for the 2nd wicket against West Indies in January 1979.
Lowest team total:
Team India holds the unfortunate record of the lowest team total scored at the Eden Gardens. India was bundled out for 90 in the 2nd innings of the 5th Test against the West Indies in December 1983 as the likes of Malcolm Marshall, Andy Roberts and Michael Holding ran through them. India lost the Test by an innings and 46 runs. This is still the only sub-100 total achieved by a team at the Eden Gardens.
In the list of Eden Garden records, this is one that the current Indian team would certainly love to change soon.
Eden Garden records – Most hundreds scored by a batsman:
While VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar had a special connection with the Eden Gardens very few players will be able to match the kind of love affair that Mohammad Azharuddin had with the place in his heydays.
The stylish Indian batsman had often charmed the Eden crowd with his stunning flicks and on-drives. Perhaps the most special Azhar moment at the Eden was when he hit South Africa’s Lance Klusener for 5 consecutive fours in the 1996 Test.
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Azhar struck 5 hundreds (along with 2 fifties) in 9 innings at the Eden Gardens and an outstanding average of 107.50. This is the most number of hundreds scored by a batsman at the venue. The record is shared by VVS Laxman who too had 5 hundreds at the Eden in 15 innings.
So these were some of the special Eden Garden records and numbers that every fan must be aware of. Which other records would you like to add to this list? And which is your favourite one? Comment below.