Coming into bat at No. 8 at his home ground at the Chepauk, Ravichandran Ashwin scored his fifth Test century to help India set a daunting 482-run target for the visitors.
The 34-year-old faced 148 balls and hit 14 fours and a six during his memorable knock. He also featured in an impressive 96-run stand with captain Virat Kohli, who scored a hard-fought 62 off 149 balls before he was the last man out.
The off-spinner’s knock was significant, as a few former English cricketers raised question marks over the nature of the Chepauk surface.
Five impressive records for ‘all-rounder’ Ravichandran Ashwin
India are firmly in the ascendancy in the second Test, thanks to Ravichandran Ashwin's exploits with both bat and ball. On that note, let us have a look at five records Ravichandran Ashwin created by scoring his fifth hundred in the longest format of the game.
#1 Ravichandran Ashwin has taken five wickets and scored a hundred in the same Test for the third time
Ravichandran Ashwin’s century on Monday marked the third instance of the player scoring a hundred and taking five wickets in the same match.
Before scoring his century on Day 3, Ravichandran Ashwin (106) had claimed 5 for 43 in England’s first innings.
Among players who have scored a hundred and picked up a five-wicket haul in the same Test, the 34-year-old is only behind Ian Botham (5).
Gary Sobers, Mushtaq Mohammad, Jacques Kallis and Shakib-Al-Hasan have done so twice.
The previous two instances of Ravichandran Ashwin scoring a hundred and picking up five wickets in the same Test came against West Indies - 5/156 & 103 in Mumbai (2011) and 7/83 & 113 in North Sound (2016).
Ravichandran Ashwin is the only Indian player to score a hundred and take five wickets in a Test on more than one occasion. Vinoo Mankad and Polly Umrigar have done so once apiece.
#2 Ravichandran Ashwin moves second among players with the most Test wickets and scored at least five centuries
Following his fifth Test hundred, Ravichandran Ashwin is now in second place in the list of players with the most Test wickets and have also scored five or more Test hundreds.
Indian legend Kapil Dev leads the pack with 434 wickets and eight Test tons. Ravichandran Ashwin, has 392 Test scalps to go with his five Test hundreds.
The other players in the illustrious list are Botham (383 wickets and 14 hundreds), Imran Khan (362 wickets and six hundreds), Daniel Vettori (362 wickets and six wickets), Jacques Kallis (292 wickets and 45 hundreds) and Sir Garry Sobers (235 wickets and 26 hundreds).
#3 Ravichandran Ashwin has the most Test hundreds at No. 8 by an Indian player
With his latest Test hundred, Ravichandran Ashwin has overtaken former captain MS Dhoni among Indian players with the most Test hundreds at No. 8.
Ravichandran Ashwin has now scored three Test hundreds while batting at No. 8. Dhoni and another off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh, notched up two hundreds while batting at No. 8 in Tests.
Ravichandran Ashwin’s previous Test hundreds at this position came in Mumbai in 2011 and Kolkata in 2013 (both against the West Indies).
Dhoni’s tons came against South Africa in Kolkata in February 2010 (132 not out) and against West Indies in Kolkata in November 2011 (144).
Both of Harbhajan Singh’s two Test tons at no. 8 came against New Zealand November 2010: 115 in Ahmedabad and 111 not out in Hyderabad.
#4 Second-most hundreds at No. 8 in Test cricket
Ravichandran Ashwin (3) is joint-second on the list of players to have scored the most Test hundreds at No. 8. Former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal too has three centuries to his name at this batting position.
Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori leads the list with four Test hundreds to his name. Vetorri’s hundreds were as follows: 127 vs Zimbabwe in Harare (August 2005), 118 vs India in Hamilton (March 2009), 140 vs Sri Lanka in Colombo (August 2009) and 110 vs Pakistan in Wellington (January 2011).
Mark Boucher, Eric Dalton, MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Kapil Dev, Jason Holder, Matt Prior, Brendan Taylor and Wasim Akram have all scored two Test tons apiece while batting at No. 8.
#5 Ravichandran Ashwin becomes only the second Tamil Nadu player to score a Test century in Chennai
Ravichandran Ashwin has become only the second player from Tamil Nadu to score a Test hundred at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
The first to do so was Kris Srikkanth, who scored 123 against Pakistan in 1986/87. Interestingly, Ashwin’s fifth Test hundred is his first against a team other than the West Indies.