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From Tendulkar's Masterclass in 1998 to Harbhajan's 15 in 2001: Great Test Match Spectacles at the Chepauk

India will clash with England in the first match of the high octane four Test series starting at the famous MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk in Chennai from tomorrow - the 5th of February. From the country's maiden win in Test cricket to the series-levelling win against the West Indies in 1975, from the 10-wicket thrashing of Pakistan in 1980 to Tendulkar's great hundred in 1999 - the ground has witnessed some great matches, performances and victories for India.

From Tendulkar's Masterclass in 1998 to Harbhajan's 15 in 2001: Great Test Match Spectacles at the Chepauk

India will clash with England in the first match of the high octane four Test series starting at the famous MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk in Chennai from tomorrow - the 5th of February. From the country's maiden win in Test cricket to the series-levelling win against the West Indies in 1975, from the 10-wicket thrashing of Pakistan in 1980 to Tendulkar's great hundred in 1999 - the ground has witnessed some great matches, performances and victories for India.

We look back at 5 famous Test matches at Chepauk in Chennai.

India vs England: Pataudi's Series-Defining Hundred to Sehwag's Hurricane 83 - Three High Impact Knocks

1952 - INDIA'S FIRST TEST MATCH WIN

It was the fifth and final Test in Chennai with India 0-1 down in the series. Vinoo Mankad picked 8 wickets in the first innings to dismiss England for 266. Pankaj Roy (111) and Polly Umrigar (130) hit centuries to give India a massive first innings' lead which turned out to be decisive in the outcome of the match. India amassed 457 and declared with 9 wickets down. Mankad returned with 4 wickets in the second innings to take his tally to 12 for the match. England were routed for 183 in the second innings. India registered a famous series-levelling win by an innings and 8 runs. It was their first Test match win in history!

1998 - TENDULKAR SHOWS HIS CLASS AGAINST THE GREAT AUSTRALIANS

Sachin Tendulkar was at the peak of his batting prowess between 1997 and 1999. There was no better batsman in the world - in Tests or ODIs to match the genius from India in those three years. The great Australian team - regarded as one of the finest cricket teams of all-time, led by Mark Taylor was touring India in 1998. Tendulkar showed his mastery in a three-day match between Mumbai and Australia preceding the first Test where he hammered an unbeaten 204 in just 192 deliveries to take his side to a 10-wicket win.

Chennai was hosting the series opener. Australia took the first innings lead scoring 328 in reply to India's 257. Tendulkar joined Rahul Dravid at 115 for 2 in the second innings with the match tilted in favour of the visitors. He took over the proceedings and registered a magnificent undefeated 155 off just 191 deliveries smashing 14 fours and 4 sixes in one of his most dominating Test hundreds. In fact, this was Tendulkar's third fastest score of 100 or more amongst the 51 times he had crossed the three-figure mark in Test cricket.

India scored 418 in the second innings in just 107 overs before making a declaration losing just 4 wickets. India's spin trio, led by Anil Kumble (4 wickets) routed Australia for 168 handing the home team a thumping win by 179 runs.

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1999 - TENDULKAR ALMOST PULLS OFF MIRACULOUS CHASE AGAINST PAKISTAN

It was the series opener of the historic Pakistan tour to India in 1999. Wasim Akram won the toss and elected to bat first. Javagal Srinath made early inroads while Anil Kumble got stuck into the middle order to reduce the visitors to 91 for 5 before Mohammad Yousuf and Moin Khan resurrected the innings registering half centuries. Pakistan were bowled out for 238. Kumble bagged 6. The home team managed to take a slender lead and were dismissed for 254.

Shahid Afridi's 141 in the second innings helped Pakistan post 286 setting India 271. India lost its openers within the first six overs with just 6 on the board. Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar stabilized the innings and took the hosts to 40 for 2 at close of play on Day 3.

Dravid departed early falling to Akram on Day 4. Azharuddin and Ganguly were sent packing by the crafty off-spinner, Saqlain Mushtaq leaving India in tatters at 82 for 5. India pinned all their hopes on Sachin Tendulkar! Wickets were falling at the other end. It was the Little Master putting up a lone fight. While others were playing for a draw, Tendulkar was going for victory - that is what separated the genius from the rest.

In Nayan Mongia he found some support and the pair put together a potentially match-changing stand of 136 for the sixth-wicket. During the course of the innings, Tendulkar battled back spasms and pain and recorded a magnificent hundred - one of his very best at home against a bowling line-up comprising Akram, Waqar Younis and Saqlain Mushtaq. But just when it seemed India were going to pull off a remarkable chase, Mongia was dismissed by Akram for 52.

Tendulkar, batting with the tail and back spasms, took India to 254 just 17 short of the target before Saqlain Mushtaq dismissed him for a brilliant 136 off 273 deliveries. India were bowled out for 258 and were beaten by 12 runs.

2001 - HARBHAJAN SINGH SCRIPTS ONE OF INDIA'S GREATEST SERIES WINS

The whole of India could hardly get over the drama and magic of Eden Gardens in Kolkata where VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid had produced once in a lifetime performances to take India to victory after they were asked to follow on. The third hero of the match for the home team was Harbhajan Singh who had bagged 6 wickets in the second innings to skittle Australia for 212.

It was the decider in Chennai. Harbhajan Singh was again at his lethal best. He picked 7 wickets in the first innings as Australia, rising on a double hundred by Matthew Hayden posted 391. India replied with 501 with a century from Sachin Tendulkar and fifties from Das, Ramesh, Laxman and Dravid. Harbhajan bettered his performance and returned with 8-84 in 41.5 overs in the second innings. Australia were bowled out for 264. The drama did not end.

India were cruising in their pursuit of 155 and had moved to 101 for 2 when the dismissal of Tendulkar led to a mini collapse. They were reduced to 135 for 7 before Sameer Dighe held his nerve and Zaheer Khan defied the Australians for 14 crucial deliveries to ultimately take the hosts to a nerve-racking thrilling two-wicket series win. It was Harbhajan Singh, who had produced the best bowling figures of his Test career, who hit the winning runs of the bowling of Glenn McGrath.

2008 - SEHWAG BLITZKRIEG HELPS INDIA PULL OFF HISTORIC CHASE

It was another series opener in Chennai in 2008. England set India an improbable 387 to chase down in the fourth innings. Only once before in their Test history had India chased down a target in excess of 300 to win a Test. The odds were heavily in favour of England. No one gave the home team a chance to win.

But there was a trump card for India and his name was Virender Sehwag!

Sehwag made his intentions clear right at the start hammering James Anderson and Steve Harmison for a flurry of boundaries - India were off to an extraordinary start racing to 54 in their first 9 overs! England did not know what had hit them. They were stunned. Sehwag registered his 50 off just 32 deliveries.

He continued to plunder fours and sixes as India raced to their hundred in just 18 overs with the Nawab of Najafgarh contributing 73 off 57 deliveries. Sehwag was finally dismissed in the 23rd over by Graeme Swann for a scintillating 83 off just 68 deliveries smashing 11 fours and 4 sixes and striking at a rate of 122.06. He had broken the backbone of the England attack and demoralized them.

He had given India the platform and the belief to go for the target. Tendulkar recorded a hundred and Yuvraj Singh remained undefeated on 85 to take India to a famous six-wicket win.



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 Australia 3028 116
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking