Champion off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin put on a batting masterclass on the third day of the ongoing Test against England at his home turf in Chennai and went on to score his 5th Test ton.
It was an innings full of grit, patience, and sumptuous strokeplay as Ashwin put all the discussions regarding the nature of the pitch with an outstanding knock of 106.
One of the hallmarks of Ashwin’s batting was the manner in which he employed the sweep shot. In fact, his first four boundaries came via the sweep shot- both conventional and reverse.
The champion Indian cricketer, in an interview with Star Sports, credited batting coach Vikram Rathour for the resurgence in his batting in the past few months. He also credited Rathour for his mastery over the sweep shot, something he displayed to the hilt on a raging turner in Chennai.
“The last time I was sweeping was when I was 19 years old and was dropped from the first XI after I got out. I have started practicing the sweep; I can’t say if it has just been happening over the last three days. Vikram Rathour has been helpful in exploring new options. I’d love to credit him for how I’ve played with the bat in the last few months. I don’t know when I will play my next Test here, but I’m very pleased,” said Ravichandran Ashwin.
Mohammed Siraj let out a guttural roar as soon as Ravichandran Ashwin got to his hundred and for the off-spinner, it was the reflection of the dressing room atmosphere and the camaraderie between the players.
“I was just telling Siraj to look at the line of the ball and go wherever he wants. It was a funny thing and it was exciting to see how he [Siraj] celebrated and that says a few things about the dressing room. The moment I got the runs and looked up at the balcony and the applause has been thunderous.
By smashing his 5th Test ton, Ravichandran Ashwin has become only the second cricketer after Ian Botham to score a hundred and take a five-wicket haul in the same Test. And, if that wasn’t enough, he chipped in with his sixth wicket of the match at the fag end to round off what has been a memorable day for one of India’s greatest-ever Test cricketer.