It was another dominant day at the office for Ravichandran Ashwin and India. The all-rounder brought up his fifth Test hundred as the hosts inched their way to another Test victory on Day 3 in Chennai. The pitch has been the talk of the cricketing fraternity in the past 24 hours but Ashwin along with Virat Kohli put on a fine batting display to help India to 286 runs in their 2nd innings. Ashwin defended with authority and used the sweep shot to good effect to reach his first Test 100 since August 2016. The Indian captain Virat Kohli was also at the heart of the action on day 3 and scored a fluent 62 on a track that had the ball spitting cobras. India continued their momentum into the 4th innings and managed to pick up 3 England scalps as they look to draw the series 1-1 before heading to Ahmedabad.
India started the day on a sombre note and lost 5 wickets in the opening hour. Cheteshwar Pujara was out in an extremely unfortunate fashion for the second test in a row as his bat got stuck in the ground as he returned to the crease. Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant followed in quick session thanks to excellent work from England’s wicketkeeper Ben Foakes who has been outstanding throughout this Test Match. Ajinkya Rahane and Axar Patel both fell cheaply as well before Ashwin and Kohli managed to stem the flow of wickets.
The two put on a 96-run stand of the highest quality. Kohli was determined to make the most of this innings after his duck on day 1 and performed a masterclass in batting in spinning conditions. Kohli played the ball late and was committed on both the front and back foot but was eventually trapped LBW by Moeen Ali on 62.
Ashwin continued the onslaught with the tail and even uncharacteristically played a few lofted shots for six as he neared three figures. He finally reached his century off a top edge that raced to the boundary, much to the delight of his home Chennai crowd. This was Ashwin's first ton at his home ground and the 3rd time in his career that he has managed a 100 and 5 wicket haul in the same test. India’s number 11 Mohammed Siraj got in on the action as well and hit two massive sixes into the crowd which propelled India to a total of 286.
The hosts managed to pick up 3 crucial wickets before the close of play. Dominic Sibley fell for just 3 runs after being trapped on the crease by Axar Patel. Rory Burns and Daniel Lawrence did show some attacking intent but the former misread the flight of an Ashwin delivery and edged it to Kohli at second slip. Jack Leach came in as the nightwatchman but his stay at the crease lasted only for one ball as he gifted Axar another wicket before stumps. England ended the day at 54-3, with India needing only seven wickets to win the Test Match and level the series.