INDIA V ENGLAND | PAYTM TEST SERIES | 2ND TEST | CHEPAUK, CHENNAI
DAY 3 REVIEW
As criticism of the second Test pitch at the Chepauk reduced to a whimper, three opportunists stood out with extraordinary individual performances for their team's cause.
Among those who have continued moaning over the quality of the pitch are former England bowler turned BBC broadcaster, Jonathan Agnew.
"Yes, you expect it to turn in India, but not like this; it was taking huge holes out of the pitch in the first hour of the first day. You may as well go and play on a beach," Agnew wrote in his column.
However the brilliant batting displayed by Kohli and Ashwin drew praise even from the England camp.
Here are how the three opportunists fared and received accolades that aspiring cricketers would love to imbibe:
1. Foakes, no jokes is the best: Playing his 6th Test, it was the speed with which Ben Foakes stumped three India's batsmen that amazed the pundits watching the match.
The fact that his feat matched Alan Knott's three stumpings in 1968 was secondary.
His renewed agility behind the stumps and dour unbeaten knock of 42 in England's first innings have once again triggered the debate whether he's better than Jos Butler.
For the moment, Foakes will have another shot at showing his batting skills on a viciously turning pitch when England resume their second innings at 53 for 3.
He may be promoted up the order ahead of Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope after the smart way he tackled Ashwin and Axar Patel.
Former India wicketkeeper, now commentator Deep Dasgupta devoted a considerable time on air analyzing Foakes's keeping.
He was of the view that young wicketkeepers learning the art should watch Foakes and gain valuable tips on how a wicketkeeper's stance and reflexes should be to stand out.
It suggests that this day would offer a perspective on which team is closer to victory.
"@imVkohli showing his absolute class. You can score runs on this wicket for sure...you just need to be very very good," exclaimed a tweet from former England player Matt Prior.
Kevin Pietersen, Kohli's teammate at Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, too tweeted with a lament from @KP24: "He's the greatest batter in the game of cricket playing right now - @imVkohli! England didn’t pick their best team so can’t complain. Missing Jimmy, BIG TIME!"
3. Ashwin, win-win: The Ravichandran Ashwin you are seeing after the heroic match saving effort in Sydney recently is a more ambitious, hungry all rounder.
Since that bruising Sydney effort in the company of Hanuma Vihari, Ashwin is out to prove to his critics that he can be relied upon as a Test allrounder.
He has been fighting a competitive battle for an allrounder's position in India's Test team with Ravindra Jadeja.
His glorious century on Monday and the five wicket haul the previous day has now placed him only behind England's legendary allrounder Ian Botham as the only players to have taken five wickets and scored 100 runs in a Test match on three and five occasions, respectively.
A 5-wicket haul followed by an excellent 💯 for the 3rd time in a Test!— BCCI (@BCCI) February 15, 2021
The magnificent @ashwinravi99 has brought up his 5th Test century and his first in Chennai. What a game is the local hero having. 🤩💪🏾 #TeamIndia #INDvENG @Paytm pic.twitter.com/dUni7KkLYc