Test cricket returns to Wankhede after emotional Sachin Tendulkar farewell

first_imgIndia are gearing up to face England in the fourth Test at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai with the comfort of a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. Virat Kohli and his boys will be aiming for nothing less than a win which would see them clinch the series and equal India’s longest unbeaten streak (17 matches without a defeat) in Tests. (India aim to extend winning run in fourth Test vs England)Team India have everything going for them at the moment but they will be aware of their dismal record against England at the Wankhede. The last time India defeated England at this venue was way back in February 1993. In the two matches since (2006 and 2012), England has been the emphatic winner, by 212 runs and 10 wickets respectively. England are the only visiting team to have won more than one Test at the Wankhede. (Kohli, Pujara approaching key milestones)Back in 2012, India had the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh in their team but even then they were outplayed and outclassed by a magnificent century from Kevin Pietersen first and then spinners Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann bamboozled their famed batting lineup. (Rahane ruled out of remaining two Tests vs England)None of the above mentioned stars are around now and this Indian team under captain Kohli has a completely new look to it. India will be playing its first Test at the Wankhede without Tendulkar ever since he made his debut in 1989. (Lokesh Rahul to open the innings: Kohli)(BCCI Photo)advertisementTendulkar bowed out of international cricket in an emotional farewell Test at this very ground in 2013. The Little Master’s 200th Test saw India defeating the West Indies by an innings and 126 runs with Pragyan Ojha finishing with 10 wickets in the match. Cheteshwar Pujara (113) and Rohit Sharma (111*) made superb hundreds but it was Tendulkar’s 74, his final Test innings, which overshadowed all other contributions.His innings was laced with the trademark straight drive, the cut, the pull and the on-drive as the capacity crowd chanted ‘Sachin, Sachin!’ throughout his stay at the crease. Tendulkar’s speech at the end of the match was even more special as the legend bowed out with a bang in front of his home crowd and with more than a billion people watching on television.(BCCI Photo)History beckons for India once again as they aim to clinch their fifth Test series win in succession. Only once in 84 years has an Indian team achieved that. Between 2008 and 2010, under skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India defeated Australia at home, England at home, New Zealand in their own den, Sri Lanka at home and Bangladesh in Bangladesh.But if there’s one thing which history has taught India is that it must not take an out-of-form England side for granted and be complacent. Their last victory over England in a five-match series came way back in 1972-73, when captain Ajit Wadekar lead the Indian team to a 2-1 victory. The final Test of that series was played at Wankhede where the visitors almost managed to pull off a miracle and level the series.Wankhede will once again be in focus from Thursday with five gruelling days of Test cricket and a slow turner awaiting both the teams. Both sides have been hampered by injuries to its key players and with the toss playing a crucial role in the series so far, it will be anybody’s game in Mumbai.last_img

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