It was a sensational day for the Indian team as India left England stuttering at 53/3 on the 3rd day of the 2nd Test. The shining star of the day was undoubtedly the local boy Ravichandran Ashwin as he mesmerised cricket fans with his century and his 5-wicket haul.
Ind VS Eng, 2nd Test, Day 3, Virat Kohli and R. Ashwin stitch a fine partnership
Earlier on Day 3, the Indian team scored a respectable 286 runs on the seemingly difficult Chepauk pitch. India started the day with 249 runs ahead of England but failed to get off a good start. Cheteshwar Pujara who was sent to the pavilion scored 7 runs but suffered a bizarre-run out during the first session as his bat got stuck to the pitch. Meanwhile, top-order batsmen Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rishabh Pant struggled to root themselves on the crease for a substantial time and left Kohli and Ashwin to steady the rocky ship.
Indian lower-order batsman and spinner R. Ashwin slammed an applause-worthy century and scored 106 runs off 148 deliveries. His knock consisted of 14 fours and one huge six. Throughout his inning, Ashwin played a wide range of sweep shots and was also given a lifeline when Ben Stokes missed an easy catch off Stuart Broad’s ball.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli continued to build upon his form and scored a half-century (62) during the second innings. Kohli remained patient throughout the inning and punished the bad balls when they came and made the touch pitch look easy to bat on. After Kohli’s dismissal, Ashwin slammed the demons of Chepauk pitch and made his fifth Test ton.
Meanwhile, Jack Leach and Moen Ali made the England bowling division proud by getting 4 wickets each. Team India was all out at 286 runs and gave the England team a massive target of 482 runs.
England starts off a record chase
Team England started the record chase but got off to a disastrous start as Axar Patel and R Ashwin started to spill their magic once again. Thanks to India’s clinical playing, England’s position transformed from bad to worse by the end of the 3rd Day.
The visitors lost their reliable openers Rury Burns and Dom Sibley who scored 25 and 3 runs respectively. Jack Leach also failed to steady the rocky England boat and was out on a duck. By the end of the day, Daniel Lawrence and Joe Root remained unbeaten. Lawrence has 19 runs on the scoreboard while dangerous Joe Root is on 2 runs.
Given how the England team was sent to the pavilion at a paltry score of 134 runs in its first innings, it looks like an uphill struggle for the visitors to chase the target and register a 2-0 lead in the 4-match series.
Cricket pundits come together to praise R. Ashwin on Twitter
Cricket pundits and players who heavily criticized the Chepauk pitch came together in their praise for the local boy R.
Take a look at what former cricket players had to say about Ashwin’s performance on Day 3.
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
🏴: it’s a bad pitch
🇮🇳: ‘Ravichandran Ashwin scores a ton’
— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) February 15, 2021
Chepauk applauds you, the country applauds you 👏 Ashwin, what an all round performance! @ashwinravi99
— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) February 15, 2021
Well played, just a terrific knock that was on a tough spinning surface ! India have now made 614 runs with one wicket in hand https://t.co/vWWcNGrX49
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) February 15, 2021
Fair summer for Ravichandran Ashwin, who feared he would miss selection in Adelaide. Ashwin has since silenced Steve Smith, batted India to that gutsy SCG draw while sparring with Tim Paine and backed up a five-fer by smacking a century on this supposed Chennai minefield #INDvENG
— Sam Landsberger 🗯 (@SamLandsberger) February 15, 2021
Want a crash course in batting and bowling on spin-friendly pitches? Meet Ashwin Sir. Tutorials available in Tamil, Hindi and English. New batch starting after this series, special discount for those who want to learn and not find excuses
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) February 15, 2021
“Wicket not as difficult as portrayed”: R. Ashwin
During the post-match interview, R. Ashwin said that the pitch wasn’t as difficult as it’s being portrayed. “The wicket isn’t as difficult as it’s being portrayed. It is really slow and the only way to go about your business as a batsman is to grind it out and play the old-fashioned way,” said Ashwin.
Ashwin played one of his best Test innings and scored a hundred and also bagged a 5-wicket haul in the same innings for the third time in Test cricket. It’s a commendable achievement as England’s Ian Botham has accomplished the same feat on more occasions (5).