R Ashwin Hits 5th Century of his Career
A day after taking a five-wicket haul in the second Test against England, Ravichandran Ashwin successfully performed with the bat. On Day 3 of the second Test between India and England, R Ashwin scored his fifth Test century. This was the third instance of Ashwin getting a 100 and a five-wicket-haul in the exact match. He hit his century off 134 balls with 14 fours and one six and finished the innings with 106 runs to his credit. Ashwin ‘s knock and his partnership of 96 runs with India captain Virat Kohli helped India build a big second-innings lead even as the hosts attempt to level the series after losing the first Test. Ashwin came in to bat at the fall of the sixth wicket at the score of 106 and from there on batted prominently from the word go.
He took advantage of the sweep shot to great effect against the England spinners Moeen Ali, Jack Leach and Joe Root, and got his fifty off just 64 balls.
Kohli’s Again Proved his Masterclass
Kohli, who batted at the other end, was more subdued, getting his half-century off 107 balls. Together, Ashwin and Kohli took India to 156 for 6 at Lunch and brought up India’s 200 shortly after drinks in the second session. Ashwin was equally adept against both pace and spin, playing tennis-like slaps against Olly Stone’s speed when the bowler chose to go short with a leg-side heavy field. When Stuart Broad, England’s second-highest all-time wicket-taker, pitched one up, Ashwin played an extended uppish straight drive that carried the ball over mid-on for four.
With Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav and Ishant Sharma falling at the other end, Ashwin selected to farm strike for the last wicket with Mohammed Siraj at the other. Ashwin used the crease’s depth to great effect as he cut one short ball from Jack Leach for four towards backward point before slog-sweeping Moeen Ali for a six over long-on to breeze through the nineties.
Ashwin got his hundred off a mis-hit as an outside edge took the past ball slips for four, and the hometown boy in Chennai got another hundred. His last wicket to fall as India was bowled out for 286 runs in their second innings and set England a daunting 482 runs to win the Test.
Respect Showered on Twitter
As soon as Ashwin reached the three-figure mark with a boundary, fans and cricket experts took to Twitter to honour the batting masterclass that saw him hit 14 fours and a six.
Former and current cricketers from both India and England tipped their hats to Ashwin’s dramatic century on a tricky pitch at the MA Chidambaram Stadium — his home ground. After England’s first innings folded for 134 runs on the second day, much talk about pitch was not at all suitable for batting.
After R Ashwin’s century, former India batsman VVS Laxman praised Ashwin for battling hard on a challenging track and scoring a brilliant hundred. He tweeted, “Great things never come from the comfort zone, and this is a great knock from @ashwinravi99. Also showed it’s going to be hard batting on this pitch but hard does not mean impossible. Nothing but RESPECT Ash #INDvsENG.”
Great things never come from comfort zone and this is great knock from @ashwinravi99 Also showed it’s going to be hard batting on this pitch but hard does not mean impossible. Nothing but RESPECT Ash🙏 #INDvsENG pic.twitter.com/1S2Wdiv83Y
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) February 15, 2021
Former England skipper Nasser Hussain also took to Twitter to praise Ashwin’s superb knock. “Well played Chennai’s Super King !! Brilliant 100 from Ravi Ashwin,” he shared.
Well played Chennai’s Super King !! Brilliant 100 from Ravi Ashwin …
— Nasser Hussain (@nassercricket) February 15, 2021
Harbhajan Singh, whose record Ashwin broke on Sunday, saluted Ashwin innings and commended him for showing others how to bat on a spinning track.
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) February 15, 2021
“Wonderful from Ashwin. I was beginning to fear that the batsman in him was getting lost. On a difficult track, this century is a gem,” tweeted commentator Harsha Bhogle.
Wonderful from Ashwin. I was beginning to fear that the batsman in him was getting lost. On a difficult track, this century is a gem.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 15, 2021
Ashwin finally got out for 106 runs as India were bowled out for 286 in the second innings, setting England a mammoth target of 481 runs to chase down in the fourth innings. Besides Ashwin, skipper Virat Kohli also scored a crucial fifty and put on a 96-run stand for the seventh wicket.
Now, India just needs 7 wickets to win the 2nd test match and level the series by 1-1.