Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
Engulfed by fort like structures, the Feroz Shah Kotla has for long been India’s fortress in Test cricket since its establishment in 1883 and is owned by the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association. From the first Test match it hosted in 1948, when India took on the touring West Indies, this ground has given cricket fans some wonderful memories to cherish. Generally known to produce spin-friendly tracks, the Kotla has over the years seen some memorable performances from Indian spinners; the spin trio of Bedi, Prasanna and Venkataraghavan have produced match winning spells here, while more recently, Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble have exploited the track conditions to lead India to many wins. In fact, a standout performance at this venue would have to be Anil Kumble’s single-handed demolition of Pakistan in 1998 – Kumble finished with figures of 10 for 74 to lead India to a famous win. It was only the second time in Test history that a bowler had taken all 10 wickets in an innings. It was here that Gavaskar equalled Bradman’s record of 29 Test hundreds, and it was at this very ground that Tendulkar surpassed Gavaskars’ record of 34 Test tons.
Now home to the Delhi Daredevils for the IPL, Kotla has also been home to a host of distinguished cricketers India has produced, including Chetan Chauhan, Bishen Singh Bedi and more recently the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Ishant Sharma. However, Kotla’s existence as an international venue once came under threat as an ODI between India and Sri Lanka was abandoned in 2009 due to a dangerous pitch.