iconimg Tuesday, September 01, 2015

October 23, 2006
Built on the banks of the Sabarmati river on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, the Sardar Patel Stadium is an imposing structure which can accommodate about 48,000 spectators. The stadium was built on a 50-acre land donated by the state government, and took only nine months for its completion.

Also known as the Motera, after the place where it is located, the venue hosted its first Test in November 1983. India lost the game, but Kapil Dev provided the silver lining, becoming only the third Indian to take nine wickets in an innings. The Sardar Patel Stadium has been witness to some memorable Indian feats - Sunil Gavaskar got to his 10,000 Test runs here, against Pakistan in 1986-87, and seven years later, Kapil had more reason to celebrate, nailing his 432nd victim and going past Richard Hadlee as Test cricket's leading wicket-taker.

The pitch here used to aid bowlers - three of the first four Tests produced results - but of late the track has played slow and low, aiding neither the bowlers nor the strokeplayers. As a result, draws have become the norm.