The Vizag Cricket Stadium, also known as Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium, is a picturesque ground located on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, India. Since its establishment in 2003, this stadium has witnessed some remarkable performances and record-breaking moments in Test cricket.
A Brief Overview of Vizag Cricket Stadium
Formerly known as Andhra Cricket Association-Visakhapatnam District Cricket Association Stadium (ACA-VDCA Stadium), the Vizag Cricket Stadium is currently owned by the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh. With a seating capacity of 27,000, the stadium is designed to provide an unhindered view of the game for spectators, with no obstructive pillars or columns.
The Vizag Cricket Stadium hosted its first international match, a 50-over ODI between India and Pakistan, in April 2005. Since then, it has witnessed several high-profile matches, including Test matches, ODIs, and T20 internationals.
Highest Total at Vizag Cricket Stadium
The Indian cricket team holds the record for the highest total at the Vizag Cricket Stadium in Test cricket. During the first Test of South Africa's tour of India in 2019, India, led by Virat Kohli, posted a mammoth total of 502/7d after choosing to bat first. This remarkable innings was fueled by the extraordinary performances of Mayank Agarwal, who scored a brilliant 215, and Rohit Sharma, who contributed 176 runs. Their partnership of 317 runs for the opening wicket set the stage for India's victory by a margin of 203 runs.
Lowest Total at Vizag Cricket Stadium
On the other end of the spectrum, the England cricket team registered the lowest total at the Vizag Cricket Stadium in Tests. Chasing a target of 405 in the fourth innings during the second Test of England's tour of India in 2016, the visitors were bowled out for a paltry 158. Ravichandran Ashwin and Jayant Yadav were the standout bowlers for India, claiming three wickets each. Captain Alastair Cook top-scored for England with 54 runs, but their efforts fell short as India emerged victorious by 246 runs.
Rohit Sharma's Dominance at Vizag Cricket Stadium
When it comes to individual performances, Rohit Sharma has been an absolute force at the Vizag Cricket Stadium. The Indian opener has amassed the most runs at this ground in Test cricket. In a solitary Test match, Rohit has scored a staggering 303 runs at an average of 151.50. His exceptional batting display includes two centuries, making him the leading run-scorer at this venue. Following closely behind Rohit is his teammate and Indian captain, Virat Kohli, with 299 runs in two Test matches.
Ravichandran Ashwin's Bowling Brilliance
While Rohit Sharma has been the star with the bat at the Vizag Cricket Stadium, Ravichandran Ashwin has been the go-to bowler for India on this ground. The off-spinner has picked up the most wickets at this venue in Test cricket. Between 2016 and 2019, Ashwin claimed 16 wickets in just two matches at an average of 19.25. His impactful performances include two five-wicket hauls, showcasing his dominance on this pitch. Ravindra Jadeja, Ashwin's spin partner, also features prominently on the list with nine wickets in two Tests.
Unforgettable Individual Performances
Apart from the overall team records, there have been some individual performances that will forever be etched in the history of the Vizag Cricket Stadium. Mayank Agarwal's double century in the opening Test against South Africa in 2019 stands out as the highest individual score at this venue. Opening the innings, Agarwal scored a remarkable 215 off 371 balls, including 23 fours and six sixes. His scintillating knock played a crucial role in India's record-breaking total.
In terms of bowling, Ravichandran Ashwin's figures of 7/145 against South Africa in 2019 are the best in an innings at the Vizag Cricket Stadium. Ashwin's exceptional spell helped India bowl out the visitors for 431 in their first innings, securing a significant 72-run lead. Ashwin's overall match figures of eight wickets in the same Test match also hold the record for the best bowling figures in a match at this venue.
Partnerships that Shaped History
Cricket is a team sport, and partnerships are integral to a team's success. At the Vizag Cricket Stadium, Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal combined forces to create the highest partnership at this ground in Test cricket. During the opening Test against South Africa in 2019, the duo forged a massive 317-run partnership for the first wicket. Agarwal's double century and Rohit's 176 propelled India to a comprehensive 203-run victory.
The Vizag Cricket Stadium has witnessed some extraordinary moments in Test cricket. From Rohit Sharma's batting masterclass to Ravichandran Ashwin's bowling brilliance, this stadium has provided a stage for players to etch their names in the record books. As cricket enthusiasts, we can only hope for more awe-inspiring performances and record-breaking moments at this iconic venue.