On 17 November 2016, Visakhapatnam hosted its first international Test match as India and England locked horns in the second Test of a five-match series. The fans in the city, who had been treated to some high-voltage ODI and T20 clashes until then, witnessed history as the city of destiny joined the elite list of Test venues in the country. As we mark the fourth year of the momentous event, we take a look back at the Test that will remain special for cricket fans in Visakhapatnam.
On a sunny Thursday morning, Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first. England, led by Alastair Cook, made early inroads by dismissing the openers for cheap returns. However, the visitors had little to cheer for thereafter as Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli assumed complete control. The duo took the English bowlers to all parts of the park as the fans in Visakhapatnam were really treated to some top-class cricket. Pujara and Kohli put on a staggering 226-run stand for the third wicket to place India in a commanding position. Handy contributions from Ravichandran Ashwin and Jayant Yadav lower down the order helped the hosts amass a first innings total of 455.
Coming out to bat, not many English batsmen troubled the Indian bowlers. Barring Stokes, Root, and Bairstow, the visitors found the going tough against the spin of Ravichandran Ashwin, who took a fifer. After bundling out England for 255, Kohli and Co emerged as clear favourites to go one up in the series.
India’s second innings was once again led by a spirited Kohli, who smashed a brisk 81 as India set the visitors a target of 405 to win the game. A collective effort by the Indian bowling meant that England were reduced to a mere 158. Team India ended up winning the Test by a massive margin of 246 runs to script history in Visakhapatnam, giving the fans some special memories. Fittingly, Virat Kohli was adjudged as the player of the match for his knocks of 167 and 81.
India 1st Innings: Virat Kohli 167, Cheteshwar Pujara 119, James Anderson 3/62
England 1st Innings: Ben Stokes 70, Joe Root 53, Ravichandran Ashwin 5/67
India 2nd Innings: Virat Kohli 81, Jayant Yadav 27, Stuart Broad 4/33
England 2nd Innings: Alastair Cook 54, Jonny Bairstow 34*, Jayant Yadav 3/30