If the feeling of being present in the electrifying atmosphere of the MA Chidambaram could be captured through a noted musical band, then perhaps it could be called Rush, the famous Canadian Rock band of the sixties.
Chidamabaram Stadium: The energy, The vibe
No princely swagger like the one you feel in Hyderabad. No high-altitude vibes that stun you in Dharamshala either. Being in Chennai’s iconic M.A Chidabaram introduces you to an energetic vibe, the kinds you feel when you are surrounded by your favourite cousins and family whilst celebrating a cultural fest. It’s a get together, albeit a noisily friendly one that brings down the house.
The feeling is comforting and over the top.
In all honesty, watching a live game at the Chepauk is a throwback to that refreshing everydayness you felt when each time you got readied to gear up for some playground cricket with your best mates. Your friends cheered as you struck winning runs. Losing and winning were both important spectacles and feelings experienced with a shared camaraderie.
A famous cricket residence
One of the most enthusiastic crowds one would find in India that celebrates the game with the same passion that players contest it in. And a crowd that revels in a win with the same spirit with which it welcomes cricket-loving guests from all over, the Chepauk’s residents are happiness galore and are an adjacent to the feeling of the game.
This 50,000 capacity crowd has been an intrinsic feature of a city that takes its sport seriously and over the years has been a witness to some enthralling contests.
Home to great cricket battles in past
Some of the feistiest cricketing battles that have given rise to some milestone moments in the gentleman’s sport:
- Back in 2013, at the peak of his batting powers but closer to the edge of losing interest in Test cricket Dhoni struck his personal best here at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium. In blazing a fine 224 off just 265 balls, MS launched 24 boundaries and 6 sixes, striking his Test best at an outstanding strike rate of 84.
- The ground is witness tom some history by becoming the first ever cricket stadium in India to host a Ranjhi Cricket match between Madras and Mysore.
- Sachin Tendulakr registered what was called his finest ever Test hundred, during his peak form in the late nineties wherein his 136 against Pakistan stood up as the only saving grace for India in a Test that the hosts lost by just 12 runs.
- Nearly for 20 long years a record that stood unmoved in the history of ODI cricket- the highest ever-individual score, 194 by Saeed Anwar- was crafted here much to the disdain of stunned Chennai fans in the independent cup as Pakistan thumped India.
Chennai’s yellow; quite like Mumbai’s blue Wankhede
Perhaps it won’t be incorrect to position Chennai’s Chidambaram among India’s famous cricketing residences, being to home fans exactly what a Wankhede is to Mumbaikars.
Over the last decade, it has been home to the sensational Chennai Super Kings, an illustrious IPL franchise. Whenever the CSK play at the Chidambaram stadium, they catapult the ground into an amphitheater that unfurls unparalleled cricketing accomplishments- full of rich vigor and skill.
Best IPL games for CSK at Chidambaram stadium
Two of the finest games that the MA Chidamabram stadium has hosted in a decade long journey in the IPL are as follows:
The surprise 2-run victory that Chennai clinched from a near certain brink of defeat against KKR in 2011. An unusually modest scoring contest, batting first CSK managed only 153. In an almost certain successful run chase for KKR, the chasers were brought to their feet through some excellent fielding by the home team that were boosted by a wicket apiece by the then bowlers- Southee, Ashwin, Raina, Jakati and Suraj Randiv.
Having made the Chidambaram stadium into a faultless fortress over the years, one of the finest defenses of CSK came against Delhi Daredevils in 2015 when they managed to defend 150. An Ashish Nehra special, DD’s top order were plundered by Nehra’s best bowling figures back in the day: 25 runs -3 wickets- 4 overs.
In the older days, when the pitches weren’t covered or tended that well, a typical Chennai surface suited fast bowlers. But from the onset of the eighties, it began favouring spinners. Runs aren’t that easy to score here for it isn’t a flat deck but in the IPL, pitches at Chepauk have been made to unfurl the IPL contests as a level-playing field for both batsmen as well as bowlers.
Past record of CSK at the Chepauk
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