Pune: India play Australia in the first of a four match Test series at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium at Gahunje near Pune.
Although the stadium has played to host to ODI and T20 matches before and was the home ground for IPL teams like Pune Warriors and Kings XI Punjab and is currently home to Rising Pune Supergiants, it is the first time ever that a Test match is being played at the stadium.
This makes the MCA Stadium India’s 25th Test venue. Back in 1933, CK Nayudu had led the Indian team in their first ever Test match at the Bombay Gymkhana against England. This was a part of a three match Test series with the subsequent Tests being played at the Eden Gardens and the third at the Madras Cricket Club ground at Chepauk, now known as the MA Chidambaram ground. This makes Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai India’s first, second and third Test venues respectively. The next time India hosted a Test side was when West Indies toured the country in t1948, with the first Test being played at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.
Ahead of the commencement of the match, Head of the BCCI’s CoA Vinod Rai, alongwith MCA officials and Indian skipper Virat Kohli unveiled a stamp to commemorate the first Test at the stadium.
Since October 2016, India have added four new Test venues to the list. These are the Holkar Stadium at Indore, the SCA Stadium at Rajkot and ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium at Visakhapatnam. India nwon all the matches played at these grounds. The other three Test matches will be played at Bengaluru, Ranchi and Dharamsala. While Bengaluru has played host to Test matches before, it will be the first time ever that the longest format of international cricket is played at Ranchi and Dharamsala.