The venue, situated close to the Indian mainland’s southern tip, made its international debut in 1997-98, and has staged six ODIs so far. It holds the unique distinction of being the arena where Sachin Tendulkar’s bowling record is better than his batting record! Tendulkar took both the five-wicket hauls of his ODI career at this venue. His 5-32 in the inaugural game against Australia in 1997-98 helped India win by 31 runs. Seven years later, he bowled India to an 87-run win over Pakistan with figures of 5-50.
India have played in all the six ODIs to be played at the venue, winning four and losing two. The encounter against South Africa in March 2000 was a high-scoring humdinger. It was the first game of an ODI series that commenced after the visitors had won the Test series 2-0. It seemed that they would extend their domination into the ODI series as well, as Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs scored hundreds, and they finished with 301-3. A rivetting chase ensued, and India overhauled the target with three wickets in hand and two balls to spare.
The home team provided the next instance of two centurions in an ODI at the venue, against Pakistan in 2004-05. Centuries by Sehwag and Rahul Dravid took India to 281-8, and Tendulkar then took over with the ball.
England’s only ODI here, in 2005-06, saw them lose by four wickets. India chased a target of 238, to take an unassailable 4-0 lead in a seven-match series.