After displaying a potent comeback as a complete all-rounder, India's Ravichandran Ashwin has been in the showers of praises from across and beyond the borders. Ashwin has delivered a magnificent performance both in bat and ball and played an important role in taking the team towards the victory against England in the second test match that concluded on Tuesday in Chennai.
What more special is Ashwin has made a strong comeback from his hometown amid the vibrant Chennai crowds. After losing the first match against the visitors in Chennai, the Virat Kohli-led Indian team was committed to winning the second match and after winning the toss, India chose to bat.
What started as a flawed opening went towards gaining the commanding position against the visitors. The Indian team had managed to maintain the command in the first two days and the host had taken the control of the entire match for the rest of three days.
India's bowling line-up had strongly restricted the English batsmen from getting past 200 runs in both innings. Ashwin played a crucial part in applying brakes on the visitors. India had given England a target of 482 runs but the visitors had eventually ended their campaign after getting bowled out for 165 runs. India had defeated England by 317 runs and marked a spectacular victory and leveled the series 1-1. Ashwin was named as the player of the match as he took eight wickets and scored 119 runs including a five-wicket haul and a century.
Ashwin was resplendent and rocked in his home city of Chennai and gave a perfect cricketing treat for the Chennai crowd. While speaking in the post-match presentation ceremony, Ashwin, in Tamil, said, "I watched the cricket from these very stands here in Chepauk when I was eight or nine years old. My father would bring me here for any Test match and I would dream about getting a chance to walk on this ground or at least play one game".
"I have played four test matches here (Chennai) and this is most special. What I can say, I get a hero's feeling every time I bowled here. The Chennai crowd came in numbers even during times when cricket is not there due to COVID. This match I dedicate to the Chennai crowd. We were 1-0 down without a crowd and with the crowd, we made it 1-1. There will be a crowd in Ahmedabad, so hopefully, we can take it forward", he said in Tamil.
He has become the first Tamil Nadu player to score a Test century in Chepauk, Chennai in three decades. Ashwin has become the third Indian to clinch his 350th International wicket at home after Kumble (476) and Harbhajan Singh (376). With splendid bowling, Ashwin has become the second-highest wicket-taker for India in home Tests with 271 wickets after Kumble who tops the table with 350 wickets. Apart from the flawless performance, Ashwin had also taken the Chennai fans into delight after performing a dance step from the song of 'Vaathi Coming' in Thalapathy Vijay starred 'Master'.