M Chinnaswamy stadium may not have the aura of the Lord’s or Eden Gardens, but ever since it was given Test status in 1974-75, this prominent landmark in Bengaluru has witnessed some of the finest moments in the history. of cricket.
This stadium has shown the propensity to ignite great careers and churn out unforgettable classics that are more than statistics for any cricket fan. A skinny Antiguan lad with a Roman nose and a lanky, bespectacled Barbadian made their debut in the first Test played at this venue. Few could have imagined Sir Vivian Richards and Gordon Greenidge would begin two of the game’s most decorated cricket careers from this venue.
But they were not the only ones - this venue has seen greats like GR Viswanath, BS Chandrasekhar, EAS Prasanna and modern-day giants like Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble hone their skills. Dravid’s unflappable technique against short-pitched balls has its roots in the countless hours he spent on the concrete steps of Chinnaswamy Stadium, facing steep, rising deliveries.
Sunil Gavaskar perhaps played the most memorable knock of his career here and that too in his final Test appearance. His swansong innings in 1987 against Pakistan on a minefield of a surface is still remembered around the world with awe for its technical perfection and sheer mental precision.
The stadium was refurbished in 1996, but some attributes did not alter, its allure intact even after the renovation. The titanic World Cup quarter-final tussle between India and Pakistan produced some electrifying moments. The fierce rivalry between Venkatesh Prasad and Aamir Sohail in that match is now the stuff of legend.