If you thought that Joe Root or Rohit Sharma are the best sweepers in the two sides, Ravichandran Ashwin, on Monday, displayed that he is as good as any during his knock in India’s innings.
As has been the case throughout this Test match, wickets fell in a flurry on the third morning as India lost the likes of Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane, and Axar Patel within the first hour.
Skipper Virat Kohli was batting really well at the other end but he was in desperate need to get some support from his fellow batsmen. Enter Ravichandran Ashwin.
Ashwin had schooled the English batting on a raging turner on the second day as he claimed yet another five-wicket-haul. And, on Monday, the champion off-spinner decided to show the Joe Root-led visitors that it ain’t that difficult to bat on this surface.
Ashwin made his intentions pretty clear right from the outset. He slog-swept Moeen Ali, bisecting the gap between backward square-leg and deep midwicket with absolute precision on the second delivery that he faced.
And, then to add salt to Moeen Ali’s wounds, the off-spinner reverse-swept his counterpart three balls later for another boundary.
Ashwin continued his sweep masterclass as he employed two more slog sweeps against Joe Root and Jack Leach to race his way to 24 off just 27 balls.
Ravichandran Ashwin’s counterattacking ploy helped Virat Kohli to go along in his own merry way as Team India weathered the storm after losing five quick wickets.
The duo has so far stitched 84 runs in just 136 balls with Ashwin nothing up a well-deserved half-century in 64 deliveries- his first in Test cricket since 2017.