R Ashwin was the talk of the down as he recorded a fifth Test century to drive home the advantage for India on Day 3 of the second Test against England in Chennai. Ashwin scored 106 to guide India to 286 in their second innings and in turn set England a daunting 482-run target to win. Ashwin’s terrific effort with the bat comes a day after he picked up a five-wicket-haul – his 29th in Test matches to give India a first-innings lead of 195.
Also Read | 2nd Test: India on top after Ashwin ton, seven strikes away from series-levelling win
Ashwin’s innings dispelled any doubts concerning the pitch, which was called terms such as unplayable, dust bowl and what not. In fact, so impressive was Ashwin’s innings that it captured the attention of Gautam Gambhir, who believes Ashwin’s achievement becomes all the more sweet knowing it came in front of his home crowd of Chennai.
“There was so much of talk about the wicket and stuff. So many people spoke about that this wicket was unplayable and stuff. He showed it that he can do it with the ball, and with the bat as well,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.
Also Read | India vs England Live Score, 2nd Test, Day 3 Highlights
“He always had the talent. You can’t get five Test hundreds if you don’t have the talent and what feeling than getting it at your home where you’ve actually grown up. On a wicket like this where you’ve already taken a five for and then you go on and get a hundred, which no other batter has done till now, what a feeling.”
Besides scoring five Test centuries, Ashwin is also close to getting 400 Test wickets for India. At present, he is on 392 wickets, with England opener Rory Burns being his latest victim. Given what he brings to the table, Gambhir reckons Ashwin often goes unnoticed for his gigantic contributions to the team and called the spinner India’s biggest match-winner since the legendary Anil Kumble.
“What a player. I think he always goes under the radar because there are people like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, but what he’s done In Test cricket for India is unbelievable. I don’t know many players who’ve got five Test hundreds and at the same time, are close to getting 400 Test wickets,” Gambhir explained.
“Anil Kumble had one Test hundred and 619 wickets. He’s probably the greatest match winner India’s ever had but after him, the greatest match winner India’s ever had, it’s R Ashwin.”