मेजबान टीम की मददगार पिचें तैयार करने पर छिड़ी बहस के बीच रविचंद्रन अश्विन ने क्रिकेटप्रेमियों और भारत के क्रिकेट समुदाय से अनुरोध किया है कि इस तरह के आरोपों का बेहतर ढंग से सामना करें। यह पूछने पर कि क्या इंग्लैंड और ऑस्ट्रेलिया की टीमों को यह स्वीकार कर लेना चाहिए कि टर्न लेती पिचों पर वे अच्छी स्पिन गेंदबाजी का सामना नहीं कर पाते, अश्विन ने कहा, ‘आखिर में तो इन सब बातों से परेशान हम हो रहे हैं।’
Axar Patel five-for seals crushing India win to level series
India spinners wrap up victory shortly after lunch on day four
India 329 (Rohit 161, Rahane 67, Pant 58*, Moeen 4-128) and 286 (Ashwin 106, Kohli 62, Moeen 4-98, Leach 4-100) beat England 134 (Foakes 42*, Ashwin 5-43) and 164 (Moeen 43, Axar 5-60) by 317 runs
India cruised to victory in a little over a session on the fourth day at Chepauk, Axar Patel collecting a five-wicket haul on debut as England went down by a crushing margin of 317 runs – emphatic retribution after the tourists had gone 1-0 up on this groun
Local hero R Ashwin, Man of the Match (massive cheers in the background): Look actually, this wicket is very different to the first game. Those balls which were doing much didn’t get wickets, it was the mind doing things. It takes a certain amount of pace and guile to do it on this wicket – I’ve been playing for years here. I think keeping the intent was very, very important. I was having a chat with Rohit and the batting coach (Vikram Rathour) about the options to put pressure on the bowler than waiting for the loose balls. First couple of sweeps I connected, I got a hang of the wicket. I’m someone who tries hard, and when it doesn’t go my way, I try harder. It’s not just Vikram alone, it was more about hands and getting through the ball, think tactically and not technically. Anjinkya (Rahane) told me I was overthinking and that innings at Sydney set the tone for me. I’m so happy that it happened in Chennai that I got a hundred and five-for. Look, I think every sort of load-up gives a different result in terms of the pitch and conditions. All these things are working beautifully because of my awareness. The joy is coming out and hence the bowling is coming the way it is.
Ashwin speaks in Tamil and the cheers swell to a crescendo at Chepauk. Ashwin pauses for a moment and soaks everything in. “I’ve watched a lot of cricket in these stands, my father brings me here,” he recalls. “I’m speechless right now. I’ve played four Test matches here and this is easily the most special Test match. It gave me a hero feeling. In Covid times, a of lot of people came without any worries and even though some didn’t wear masks they cheered for us. Every time I came out to bat or bowl, the cheers were great – vera [different] feeling. I dedicate this win to the Chennai crowd. We went one-up after they allowed the crowd, hopefully we continue to do well [in the presence of crowds] in Ahmedabad as well”
Kohli, India captain: Look, it was a bit strange in the first game to play at home without crowds in the stands. Things were flat to be honest, and myself included. [we needed] to pick up the energy. We were on the money this game and the crowd makes a massive different and you push more as a team. This game is an example of the grit and determination we’ve shown as a side. The Chennai crowd everyone knows is very, very intelligent and they understand their cricket really well. For the 15-20 mins, when the bowler needs support from the crowd, it’s my responsibility [to egg the crowd on]. When I’m bowling in the heat, you need motivation from the crowd. The conditions were challenging for both sides, but we showed more application, determination and grit to battle it out. I don’t think the toss would’ve mattered much in this pitch, and we believed we could score runs in the second innings and got almost 300. Look, Pant has really worked hard in Australia and the difference when he moves with the gloves you can see in his reflexes and reactions. He has shed a lot of weight in Australia and it shows and we want him to get stronger and stronger with his skill sets because we know how much value he adds to the team. It’s a special, special moment for Axar. He’d have played the first game too if not for a niggle. He bowls fast and is all smiles, and hopefully he builds it here from here on. I’ve taken a lot of pride in correcting mistakes quickly, which I haven’t done in the past because I’m rigid. But, I want to correct those quickly now. Ashwin batted outstandingly well and in the second half I decided not to go after runs and I’m going to trust my defense to get me out of trouble. Yeah, pink-ball cricket is going to be challenge and we expect no easy cricket from England. The energy and enthusiasm from the crowd is really important for us.