On a typical Chennai pitch, local boy Ravichandran Ashwin picked up the 29th five-wicket haul of his Test career. Ashwin spun a web of spin around the visitors as they were bowled out for a paltry 134. This was his second five-wicket in two consecutive games on his home ground. The wicket of Stuart Broad, the final wicket of the England innings, was his 200th time dismissing a left-hander.
His spell five wickets included some of the best balls to have been ever bowled in India. The one to dismiss Ben Stokes was an absolute beauty. The ball drifted in before spinning away to hit Stokes’ off stump proving how good the veteran spinner is. Led by Ashwin, the Indian spinners made sure that the visitors get a taste of what it means to actually play India in their own backyard. England bundled out under 60 overs to hand India a lead of 195.
Records tumble as India take a huge lead
With his third wicket of the game, Ashwin became the second-highest wicket-taker at home for India. He overtook Harbhajan Singh, who has 265 wickets in India, to move to the second spot. Anil Kumble leads the list with 350 wickets at home from 62 games. It is the veteran off-spinners 23rd five-wicket haul for Ashwin in 45 home Tests which takes him past James Anderson‘s 22 in 89 Tests. Only Muttiah Muralitharan (45), Rangana Herath (26) and Kumble (25) have taken more five-fers at home.
With a 195 run lead and over three days to play, India are all set to level the series. The hosts are off to a rollicking start in their second innings having scored 36 runs at the rate of almost five an over. The plan seems to be simple. The hosts are looking to score some quick runs and get England batting again as quickly as possible.