India vs England, 2nd Test: Ashwin thanks 'knowledgeable Chennai crowd' for making him feel like a hero
India’s talented off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin thanked the “knowledgeable Chennai crowd” to turn up in numbers during the second Test against England
India's talented off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin thanked the "knowledgeable Chennai crowd" to turn up in numbers during the second Test against England, which India won by 317 runs on Tuesday.
The local hero Ashwin was awarded the Player of the Match for his all-round contribution that helped India to level the ongoing four-match Test series 1-1. Virat Kohli and Co had lost the first Test, which was also played at Chennai's Chepauk Stadium.
The second Test finally saw the cricket fans' return to the stadium in India. Around 15,000 spectators were allowed into the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on each day of the match.
"I can't express how I feel right now, but I am so very grateful to each and everyone who has wished me over the last few days. I would also like to thank the #KnowledgableChennaiCrowd for turning up in numbers and making me feel like a hero," Ashwin tweeted.
I can't express how I feel right now, but I am so very grateful to each and everyone who has wished me over the last few days. I would also like to thank the #KnowledgableChennaiCrowd for turning up in numbers and making me feel like a hero. 🙏🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/VXEgC0GU2D— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) February 16, 2021
Chasing a massive target of 482 runs, England were bundled out for a mere 164 runs in the final innings. While Axar Patel picked up five wickets on his Test debut, Ashwin bagged three wickets. He finished the Test with a total of eight wickets and a century, which he hit during India's second innings. When the English spinners Jack Leach and Moeen Ali wreaked havoc on day three, Ashwin stepped up as he top-scored for India in the innings. He scored a 148-ball 106, which was his fifth hundred in the longest format.
"As a kid, I've wondered if I will ever play in Chepauk, will people clap for me here... am I even allowed here. As an eight-year-old, I have come here on these very stands to watch Test cricket. My dad would bring me here. I have no words to express myself. I have played four Test matches here and easily this is the most special. I get a hero's feeling. Every time I bowled or removed the cap, it was a different feeling.
In Covid times this knowledgeable crowd came out in big numbers. They did not worry at all. Even though they weren't wearing masks they kept clapping and enjoyed the game. I will dedicate this win to the Chennai crowd for what they did.
We went 1-0 down because there was no crowd, and we made it 1-1 with the crowd. There will be a crowd in Ahmedabad, hopefully, we can take it forward," Ashwin said at the post-match presentation.
India and England will now travel to Ahmedabad, where the final two Tests will be played at the Sardar Patel Stadium. The third Test is scheduled to begin on Feb. 24, which is also a day-night fixture.