Bangalore: Nagpur has so far hosted six Test matches . the inaugural Test was between India and New Zealand at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground from 3rd October 1969. G T Dowling and Nawab of Patuadi (Jr) were the captains. India chasing a target of 276 for victory was never in the picture losing wickets at regular intervals. Captain Patuadi was the top scorer for India in its 2nd innings with 28. Howarth and Pollard were the main architects of New Zealand's victory, as India lost by 167 runs. It took 14 years to stage the next Test when Pakistan led by Zaheer Abbas toured India in 1983-84.
This Test ended in a draw . a continuation of the earlier two Tests at Bangalore and Jalandhar also ending in draws. Sandeep Patil, who was not in the selected squad, was flown in as replacement when Mohinder Amarnath withdrew because of fever when the match was just about to start. Patil could arrive only after the first day's play had ended and his contribution in the Test was only six and 26. Kapil Dev captained India and the last day's play had become so dreary that Pakistan sent number nine Tahir Naqqash and number 11 Azeem Hafiz to open the second innings.
Wicket-keeper Kirmani also bowled and took a wicket. India won at this venue when Sri Lanka toured in 1986-87 and it was India's first Test victory over them in six Tests. L R D Mendis and Kapil Dev were the captains. Sri Lanka succumbed to the spin duo of Maninder Singh and Shivlal Yadav in the first innings and made only 204. India amassed 451 for six declare with main contributions from Amarnath, Vengsarkar, Gavaskar and then Yadav with figures of seven for 51 humbled Sri Lanka again which lost by innings and 106 runs.
Nagpur next hosted West Indies in the year 1994-95. After winning the toss, India elected to bat and made 546 for nine declare. Sidhu made 107 and Tendulkar 179 while captain Azharuddin missed century by 3 runs. To add to the misery Nayan Mongia and Anil Kumble added 93 runs for the 8th wicket. However, West Indies managed to draw the Test after it made 428 in the first innings when its four batsmen (P V Simmons, B C Lara, C L Hooper, J R Murray) made fifties and Jimmy Adams scored a century.
This was the second Test of the three-Test series when Courtney Walsh led West Indies. Hooper exhibited a fine all-round performance when he made 81and 67 and took five for 116 and two for 62. The fifth Test played at Nagpur in 1997-98 was marred by rain, which washed out the last two days play after India had amassed 485. Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly became victims of nervous nineties. Ganguly missed century by a solitary run while Dravid missed it by 8 runs. Sri Lanka did not get a chance to bat. Pushpakumara took five for 122. Sachin Tendulkar and Arjuna Ranatunga were the captains in this rain ruined Test.
The last occasion when a Test was played at Nagpur was in 2000/01 when Zimbabwe toured India. Every one expected that India would coast to a victory when it declared its innings at 609 for six with three batsmen scoring centuries including an unbeaten double hundred by Sachin Tendulkar, while Shiv Sunder Das made his maiden Test hundred and Rahul Dravid scored 162. But undeterred by the massive total Zimbabwe tried hard to avoid the follow on but in vain.
However Zimbabwe fought bravely in the 2nd innings to score 503 for six with main contributions coming from Alistair Campbell who scored a century and Andy Flower who was in fantastic form throughout the entire 3 Test series followed up his 55 in the first innings with an unbeaten double century (232) in the 2nd innings. Barring the wicket-keeper, all Indian players bowled in the 2nd innings. Earlier the other Flower brother Grant Flower had scored an unbeaten century in Zimbabwe's first innings. Saurav Ganguly and Heath Streak were the captains in this Test.
|Track Record for Nagpur Test :|
|List of matches played|
|Date||Season||vs||Won by||Margin of victory|
|1||3-8.10.1969||1969/70||New Zealand||New Zealand||167 runs|
|3||27-31.12.1986||1986/87||Sri Lanka||India||Ings&106 runs|