Ravichandran Ashwin has come to the defense of the Chennai wicket, saying it isn't as difficult as portrayed by some critics.
Former players and pundits have heavily criticized the pitch for the second Test. Former England captain Michael Vaughan called it a 'shocker' and unfit for five-day matches. This came after the visiting batsmen struggled against Indian spinners and could only put up 134 in response to the hosts' 329.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the day's play on Monday, Ravichandran Ashwin said the pitch was slow and required batsmen to play the "old fashioned way".
"The wicket isn't as difficult as it's being portrayed. It is really slow and the only way to go about your business as a batsman is to grind it out and play the old fashioned way," said Ravichandran Ashwin.
Ravichandran Ashwin has been brilliant in the second Test so far. He completed his 29th career five-wicket haul in Tests and returned with overall figures of 5-43 in 23.5 overs on Sunday. Ashwin also went past Harbhajan Singh to become India's second-highest wicket-taker at home.
Ravichandran Ashwin explains how he planned Ben Stokes's dismissal
The biggest highlight of Ravichandran Ashwin's spell was the dismissal of England vice-captain Ben Stokes. Bowling from round the wicket to the southpaw, the off-spinner got the ball to drift into the middle stump and spin stunningly to hit the top of the off stump.
"Over the years the left-handers have started facing off-spin from round the wicket and so they try and move their front foot outside off and take the LBW out of the equation which is a crucial part of my bowling, I had to try and use the crease and force Ben Stokes to play a shot rather than defending," explained Ravichandran Ashwin.
Ashwin further added:
"Using different arm parts also helps me. Change has been the only constant when it comes to my bowling. I am able to change with different actions and loading points even within a spell, I am really thankful for that ability being bestowed upon me."
With a lead of over 250 already, India are calling the shots in the second Test. Ravichandran Ashwin will again be crucial for the hosts in the second innings.