England has not won a Test at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai ever since 1985 and they will be desperate to break their jinx at the venue.
Joe Root's England cricket team begin their quest of trying to emulate their feats of 2012 as they look to beat an in-form Indian cricket team in their own backyard. In the last 16 years, only Alastair Cook's England cricket team have managed to breach the 'final frontier' as an inspired exhibition of batting, captaincy and bowling gave England their first series win against India in 28 years. Ahead of the 2021 series which involves four Tests, England will be aiming to attempt two bits of history. The England cricket team will be looking to emulate a 38-year record in which a visiting side has won three or more Tests in India. The last team to do this was the West Indies. England needs to win three or more games to pip India and Australia to the final spot in the ICC World Test Championship final where they will face New Zealand.
To begin their quest, they must first overcome a 36-year nightmare at the MA Chidambaram stadium. The venue was originally England's favorite, winning three out of the first six Tests which included two losses and one draw from 1934 to 1985. In the 1984/85 series, England ensured the series was not lost when they won by nine wickets in Chepauk to take an unassailable 2-1 series lead. However, from being a favorite venue, the MA Chidambaram stadium has transformed into the England cricket team's worst nightmare. So much so that the side has not won in Chennai for the last 36 years.
Disaster begins for England
In 1993, when Chennai was still called by the colonial name of Madras, England was humbled by India. Sachin Tendulkar scored his first Test century in India and combined with Anil Kumble's nine-wicket haul, India defeated England by an innings. In 2008, in the aftermath of the emotional Mumbai terror attacks, India and England played out a classic in Chepauk. Andrew Strauss hit centuries in both innings but Sachin Tendulkar's hundred, backed by a whirlwind knock from Virender Sehwag and a superb knock from Yuvraj Singh helped India chase down 387 and give the nation plenty of smiles.
In 2016, Karun Nair became the second Indian player after Virender Sehwag to hit a triple century in Tests. Ravindra Jadeja then picked up 11 wickets in the match, including 7/48 as India registered another innings win to win the five-match series 4-0.
Thus, England has lost three consecutive Tests since 1985. For England to attempt a 38-year record in India, they must first shatter this 36-year nightmare in Chepauk. But, it will be tough as India has not lost a Test at this venue since 1999 when they suffered a heartbreaking 12-run loss to Pakistan.