Day 3 of the second Test between India and England belonged to Ravichandran Ashwin who came up with a knock that will be remembered for long. At his home ground, Ashwin was at his imperious best with the bat as he produced a masterclass in counter-attacking. Even as the rest of the Indian middle-order struggled on a turning pitch, Ashwin schooled the Englishmen on how to play on such a pitch.
There were a lot of nervy moments as Ashwin was only on 77 when No. 11 batsman Mohammed Siraj joined him. The pacer held firm amidst excruciating pressure as he ensured he survived and got the strike to Ashwin when needed. By the time Ashwin got out to Olly Stone while on 106, the damage had already been done and it now seems like only a matter of time before India level the series 1-1.
Ravichandran Ashwin credits batting coach Vikram Rathour
Ravichandran Ashwin spoke to the commentary team on Star Sports about his performance and said, “I will sleep well through the night, that is all that I am thinking. Even after the last Test, we spoke about how we are going to counter Leach and probably bring sweep to the game. Last time I was sweeping, I was 19 years old, I hit a bit of sweep shots well today. I am thankful the plan has paid off. Sort of had a very good day.”
He then credited Indian batting coach Vikram Rathour for his improvement in batting and said, “I have been practicing with Vikram Rathour. I would love to credit him with how my batting has come through over the last four- five matches. I don’t know when the next Test is going to be here, but I am pleased.”
Speaking finally about batting with tailenders Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj, Ashwin said, “In the past when, he’s (Ishant) been with me when I got hundreds at home and once Siraj came, I knew how to approach. I was thrilled for his batting and told him to go through the line of the ball. It was mazing to see how excited he was when I got my hundred. I don’t know what the team is feeling like but I am sure they are thrilled. I can’t thank the crowd enough, they have been very supportive.”
England will resume tomorrow on 53/3, needing a near-impossible 429 more runs to win.