The Barabati Stadium in Cuttack hosted only the third one-day international in this country, in January 1982, when India put it across England by five wickets to lift the series 2-1. In the first Test match here five seasons later, the Sri Lankans were greeted with an underprepared wicket affording vastly unpredictable bounce. Dilip Vengsarkar, then at the most dizzying heights of his career, made his highest Test score of 166, his fourth century in eight Tests, when no other batsman on either side crossed 60. The Lankans were rolled over twice as India seized an innings and 67-run victory. Kapil Dev bagged his 300th Test victim, bowling Rumesh Ratnayake with a ball that failed to sit up.
The only other Test match here, against New Zealand in 1995-96, was badly affected by rain, affording less than 180 overs of playing time. Narendra Hirwani, on a comeback trail, took 6 for 59 in New Zealand's only innings, the best bowling figures here. India have won five out of seven ODI's at this venue which has also witnessed two games not involving them. Visiting sides have in the past sometimes expressed their qualms about having to travel from Bhubaneshwar, an hour's drive away, because of the lack of an airport and of quality accomodation in Cuttack.