After the Indian cricket team bundled up the visiting English side for a paltry score of 134 runs in the 1st innings of the Second Test match at Chennai, former English captain Michael Vaughan decided to blame the ‘pitch’ for the disastrous performance of the team.
“It’s entertaining cricket as things are happening all the time but let’s be honest this Pitch is a shocker,” he claimed on Sunday. Michael Vaughan further alleged that the pitch was not suitable for a 5-day Test match. He further remarked, “Not making any excuses as India have been better but this isn’t a Test Match 5 day prepared Pitch.”
However, Michael Vaughan was up for a rude shock on Monday when Indian spin bowler Ravichandran Ashwin outclassed the English side, with a stellar batting performance, during the second innings. As India headed into the third day of the Test match, it had a healthy lead of 195 runs. But, the ‘dirt’ pitch had begun deteriorating further, making it an ideal bowling condition than what it was already for the likes of English spin bowlers such as Moeen Ali and Jack Leach.
At the end of 36.1 overs, India was down by 6 wickets with just 106 runs on the scoreboard. And then came Ashwin to bat alongside the Indian skipper Virat Kohli. The duo took the score to 156 runs by the end of the lunch break. Both Kohli and Ashwin completed their half-century with ease. When the skipper got dismissed at 62, the fans believed it to be the end of the Indian innings. However, on a pitch providing dramatic bounce and turn, Ashwin displayed his finesse as a bowling allrounder.
Ashwin comes to India’s rescue
With the support of tailenders holding on the other end, the ace spin bowler beautifully paced his innings, exhibited great defence and played exquisite shots to reach a total of 106 runs in 146 balls. During his majestic innings that diminished the slightest of chances for the English side to make a comeback, Ashwin hit 14 fours and 1 six. He exuberated such confidence that even the 11th batsman Mohammed Siraj pulled off two majestic sixes.
By the time, the Indian team was all out, England was left with a mammoth target of 482 runs. Ashwin thus joined the elite list of Test players, who scored a century in the same match where they took a 5-wicket haul. The Indian spin bowler, who is just shy of 400 wickets, has shown the English side that being able to quickly adapt to the turning conditions could have helped save the Test match.
The England cricket team failed to adapt to the wicket or capitalise on their spin bowling attack. With a target of 429 runs and just 7 wickets remaining at the end of third day’s play, a defeat for the visiting side is inevitable. Ashwin showed that while pitch might be favourable or non-favourable, it’s the performance that matters in the end.
Shane Warne gives befitting reply to Michael Vaughan
While replying to Vaughan, Warne replied, “The toss was more important to win in the 1st test than this one, as it did nothing the 1st 2 days. Then exploded. This one has been a turner from ball one.” He said, “England should’ve bowled India out for 220. No different between spinning or seaming & Rohit showed how to play on this surface.”
He further stated, “Everyone should celebrate the amazing test cricket we are/have witnessed from all countries over the past few months. It’s exciting. The best bowlers/batsman will rise no matter what the pitch conditions or situation of the game. My prediction was (India 359/ England 157=202 run lead) it’s 195.”