Ravichandran Ashwin’s scintillating show in the ongoing Chennai Test against England has drawn plaudits from across the world. Ashwin’s India and Tamil Nadu teammate Dinesh Karthik heaped praise on his batting efforts and stated that the all-rounder must have planned the innings the previous day itself.
On a surface drawing criticism for overtly assisting spinners, Ashwin made a statement with the bat, slamming his fifth Test ton. This was also Ashwin’s first 50-plus score in three-and-half years.
Earlier, his five-wicket haul resulted in him dismantling England for 134 in their first innings.
In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda’s Indranil Basu over SK Live, Dinesh Karthik joked about how Ashwin ruined his prediction and lauded the fellow Chennaite’s knock.
“I predicted the match would get over in three days, but Ashwin came and spoiled it. So it’s okay. It was a terrific knock. He showed a lot of intent and played a lot of shots.
“Knowing him, he would have planned his innings yesterday itself. Sitting and having his dinner, he must have thought about all that he needs to do. He had plans in place for each bowler and came out all guns firing. He put them under pressure. You need a bit of luck with such knocks, and he got that.
“Once he got set, he batted very cleverly. He didn’t give it away, played good shots and showed a very mature head. He has just put up another fabulous performance,” said Dinesh Karthik, who has played 26 Tests, 94 ODIs and 32 T20Is for India.
Having lost the first Test, India struggled at 106 for six in the second innings when Ashwin joined his skipper Virat Kohli in the first session of the third day. The senior players added 96 for the seventh wicket on a challenging surface to place India in a strong position.
Ashwin shared a 49-run last-wicket stand with Mohammed Siraj and brought up his maiden hundred on his home ground.
R Ashwin, only behind Ian Botham
Ashwin bagged the double of 5 wickets and a century in a Test for the third time in his career. He’s only behind Ian Botham’s tally of five. This was also his third hundred at No.8. The only batsman to have scored more hundreds at No.8 or lower is New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori.
Ashwin struck early in the second innings too as he dismissed England opener Rory Burns. With still two days to go for the Test, England, chasing 482, are 53 for 3.