India will play England in the fourth test match of the 5-match series at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai from November 8-12, 2016. The MCA-run cricket stadium has been the premier venue for tests in Mumbai, out of the two (the other being Brabourne, a few meters down the road) on the city’s famous Marine Drive promenade, and has hosted three test matches since its redevelopment for the World Cup in 2011. This will be its fourth since then, and second against England. The other two were against the West Indies (2011, 2013).
Many viewers, though, have had it tough since then, with the capacity cut down to 33000 from 45000, and the sea wind being cut into half by the vertical addition of stands to suit the modern-day T20 (many Mumbai Indians’ T20 games are played here) and ODI spectator experience.
Let’s take a look at India’s test record at this stadium – which, in this writer’s experience, has been a tough place to sit in for the entire duration of a 5-day match. Seemingly, the same is the case for Indian test players over the years. This hasn’t exactly been a happy hunting ground, though it won arguably its most significant ODI match of all time – the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka, to lift the title. However, out of the 4 World Cup ODIs played by India here, they have won 2 and lost 2.
24 – number of tests played by India at the Wankhede
42 – total number of tests played by India in Mumbai; 18 at Brabourne (CCI) which was the premier venue for tests till 1973 (17 till then), after which Wankhede was built in 1975 to host its first test (v/s West Indies; India lost)
10 – number of tests won by India at the Wankhede
7 – number of tests lost by India here, with 7 draws
7 – number of tests between India and England at this venue
3 – number of tests won by both teams, with just one draw (1977)
23 – number of years since India last defeated England in this stadium.
2 – number of tests between both teams since 2000 at this venue – both won by England (2006, 2012)
0 – number of tests won by either team (out of 4) at Brabourne
1 – number of tests at Brabourne since 1973 (2009; Sri Lanka), incidentally the test in which opener Virender Sehwag scored 293 and helped India achieve the no. 1 ranking for the first time in its history
3 – number of years since Wankhede last hosted a test (Sachin Tendulkar’s final test match in 2013, against West Indies)
19 – number of Indian wickets picked by the England spinners (Graeme Swann, Monty Panesar) in 2012 at the Wankhede, a match which India lost by 10 wickets
2 – number of Indian batsmen who had reached double figures in their second innings total of 142
5 – number of years it has been since the famous “drawn” India-West Indies test at the Wankhede, with India finishing on 242/9 in the fourth innings while chasing 243 for the win.
2 – number of centuries scored by Cheteshwar Pujara in his 2 test matches (2012, 2013) at this ground.