Ash Win's Match: Chennai's 'Super King' puts India on course for big winPTI | Chennai | Updated: 15-02-2021 17:18 IST | Created: 15-02-2021 17:18 IST
Ravichandran Ashwin first gave a lesson on how to bowl on a rank turner and then provided a batting master-class with a sparkling hundred on a deteriorating strip, putting India on the brink of a massive series-levelling victory against England on the third day of the second Test here.
Ashwin's fifth Test hundred -- a gutsy 106 off 148 balls along with Virat Kohli's near flawless 62 off 149 balls got India to a more than decent 286 in 85.5 overs, leaving England with an improbable target of 482 runs on a dust bowl.
But difficult doesn't mean impossible. Just like facing a quality seam bowler on a green top is an art, one needs plenty of skills and mental fortitude to counter spinners on a dust bowl.
Skipper Kohli and Ashwin showed the likes of Michael Vaughan that they have that in abundance as India batted nearly 182 overs across two innings on a track that many deemed as under-prepared after England failed to score even 150.
India's batting exhibition in the second innings was a statement for all the Doubting Thomases on how to bat on a third-day track.
Both the Moeen and the Leach bowler were bowling their deliveries at an identical pace unlike Ashwin who varied the speed. Also another marked difference between Ashwin's deliveries was his pace through the air which was significantly more than Moeen's.
He displayed defensive elegance, coming close to the pitch of the ball to take an off-stump guard in order to negate turn. He also used the sweep shot only for deliveries that were drifting down the leg-side.
Apart from the square cuts and the pull shots off spinners, he was ready to hit the flat-batted shots off pacers akin to tennis forehand shots.
There were 14 boundaries and a six in all during his best batting effort considering the previous four hundreds came against second-rate West Indies sides.
Ravindra Jadeja' ascendancy as India's all-conditions specialist spin bowling all-rounder led to Ashwin losing a bit of confidence and the cutting edge he possessed with the willow.
In the past one year, he has tremendously upgraded his variations and the confidence in 'Ashwin the bowler' has brought to the fore 'Ashwin the batsman'.
In both cases, he cleverly shielded the strike and finally reached 97 with a six.
A miscued shot got him his hundred and the ensuing celebrations, especially from Kohli punching his fists while giving a standing ovation, said it all.
Ashwin seemed finally back where he belonged and that's right at the top.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)