The MA Chidambaram Stadium, popularly known as Chepauk, is the second-oldest cricket stadium in India. Established in 1916, it is the home of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association in India’s domestic cricket circuit. Team Chennai in the Indian T20 League also play their home games at this venue.
Chepauk hosted the Pongal Test every year from 1960 to 1988. Many greats have played at this iconic venue, piling up records and delighting fans with memorable performances. Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Karun Nair, and Virender Sehwag are among the players who have had some record-breaking moments at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
India and Australia featured in the first One-day International (ODI) at the venue on October 9, 1987 - 53 years after the first Test. The Aussies won a thrilling encounter by one run, despite local favourite Kris Srikkanth’s valiant batting efforts.
Over the years, Chepauk has hosted multiple riveting World Cup matches along with a high-scoring Afro-Asia Cup in 2007.
Overall, the MA Chidambaram Stadium has hosted 31 ODIs, with 15 wins, each, for the teams batting first and second in matches here. However, the Indian cricket team has won only seven of their 13 matches in the 50-over format at Chepauk, recording a lowly win percentage of 58.33%.
MA Chidambaram Stadium ODI records
Former Indian captain MS Dhoni has scored the most runs in ODIs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. The wicketkeeper-batter smashed 407 runs in only six matches while representing India and Asia XI. Dhoni has a remarkable average of 100.25, backed by a strike rate of 101.77, at the venue in this format.
In second place is Virat Kohli with 283 runs in seven ODIs. Kohli, in fact, is the leading run-scorer at Chepauk in this format among active cricketers. Australia’s Geoff Marsh leads the charts for most runs by non-Indian players here, amassing 246 runs in three matches.
Bangladesh cricketer Mohammad Rafique has picked up eight wickets in three matches at Chepauk, the most by any player in ODIs. While he bowled at an economy rate of 5.73, Rafique averaged only 21.50 runs per wicket here.
Ajit Agarkar, meanwhile, scalped seven wickets in three ODIs at Chepauk, ranking him second overall in this list. Morne Morkel and Harbhajan Singh have registered seven wickets too, but Agarkar’s incredible average of 11.28 puts him higher on the wicket-taking chart.
Highest team total
Asia XI has recorded the highest ODI team total at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. The team headlined by MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag scored 337/7 in the Afro-Asia Cup on June 9, 2007. After a complete batting performance, Dilhara Fernando helped restrict Africa XI 31 runs short of the target.
On the other hand, Pakistan’s 327/5 and India’s 299/8 are the highest team scores at Chepauk by a single nation.
Lowest team total
Kenya was bowled out for merely 69 runs against New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. It still stands as the lowest team total in ODIs at Chepauk. Hamish Bennett bowled a match-winning spell of 4/16 for the Kiwis, who won by 10 wickets.
The Indian cricket team’s lowest score at the venue is 227/6, which they stitched against Pakistan in December 2012. Despite MS Dhoni’s 125-ball 113, Misbah-ul-Haq's side won the encounter by six wickets.
Mahela Jayawardene and MS Dhoni registered the highest partnership in ODIs at Chepauk, stitching 218 runs for the sixth-wicket for Asia XI in June 2007. Both batters scored centuries, guiding the Asian team to a victorious total of 331/8.
West Indies pair Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer, too, stitched together a 218-run stand for the second wicket against India in December 2019. Hetmyer, who starred with a 106-ball 139, helped the Windies chase down 288 with 13 balls to spare.
Average first innings score
The average first innings score after 31 ODIs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium is 230. The pitch tends to support batters early on, while spinners come into the game in the latter half of the innings.
Seamers, meanwhile, get help under lights in day-night matches in windy conditions. The average second innings score, thus, drops down to 210.
Highest individual score
Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar famously scored 194 runs off just 146 balls in the Pepsi Independence Cup in May 1997. The knock remains the highest individual ODI score at Chepauk to date. It not only helped Pakistan win the game by 35 runs but also guaranteed them a place in the final.
MS Dhoni and Shimron Hetmyer’s knocks of 139 in June 2007 and December 2019, respectively, complete the top three.
Best bowling figures
West Indies’ Ravi Rampaul and Pakistan’s Aaqib Javed are the only two players with five-wicket hauls in a match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Rampaul takes the top spot after his spell of 5/51 in March 2011, bettering Javed’s 5/61 in May 1997.
Stuart Broad, Ajit Agarkar, and Hamish Bennett headline the list of 12 cricketers with four-fors at Chepauk in the 50-over format.
Photo credits: Alamy