Ravichandran Ashwin became only the second Tamil Nadu player to score a Test century at his homeground, Chepauk as India set England a 482-run target in the second Test. The local fans were treated to a surprise ton from India's premier spinner who on Day 2 had bagged a fifer.
Kris Srikkanth is the only other Tamil Nadu player to score a century in Chepauk, he hit 123 against Pakistan in 1986-87.
Ashwin's innings also marked a special feat of a hundred and a five-wicket haul in the Test, a rare achievement that he had done three times in his career, only behind Ian Botham who had done it on five occasions; Gary Sobers, Mushtaq Mohammad, Jacques Kallis and Shakib-Al-Hasan twice each.
This century, his fifth overall, is also Ashwin's first hundred against a team other than the West Indies.
"I will sleep well through the night, that is all that I am thinking. Even after the last Test, we spoke about how we are going to counter Leach and probably bring sweep to the game. Last time I was sweeping, I was 19 years old, I hit a bit of sweep shots well today. I am thankful the plan has paid off. Sort of had a very good day. I can't say it's been happening in the last three days, I have been practising with Vikram Rathore (batting coach), I would love to credit him with how my batting has come through over the last four- five matches. I don't know when the next Test is going to be here, but I am pleased. In the past, he's (Ishant Sharma) been with me when I got hundreds at home and once Siraj came, I knew how to approach. I was thrilled for his batting and told him to go through the line of the ball. It was amazing to see how excited he was when I got my hundred," said Ashwin.
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan, who has been criticising the Chepauk pitch, hailed the all-rounder's performance and termed it as "ruthless".
"Ruthless performance by @ashwinravi99!!! India has so many more skilled players for these conditions. High class .. #INDvENG," tweeted Vaughan.
Ashwin came to the crease when India's score read 106/6 and he along with skipper Virat Kohli formed a crucial 96-run partnership. Ishant Sharma scored seven runs and he fell when India's score read 237 but Ashwin formed a crucial 49-run stand with Mohammed Siraj and the duo took the hosts' score to 286 and the lead was extended to 481 runs.
Ashwin's 106 runs came off 148 balls with the help of 14 fours and a six.
Former Australia spinner Shane Warne also took to Twitter to congratulate Ashwin on a fantastic knock in such trying and testing conditions.
"Well played, just a terrific knock that was on a tough spinning surface! India has now made 614 runs with one wicket in hand," tweeted Warne.
With Agency Inputs