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India On Top After R Ashwin Ton, Seven Strikes Away From Series Levelling Win

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India vs England: England is 53/3 at stumps on Day 3, needing another 429, leaving India seven strikes faraway from leveling the series 1-1.R Ashwin followed his five-wicket haul within the first innings with a scintillating fifth Test century to further strengthen India’s grip within the second Test against England in Chennai. Ashwin scored 106, putting on vital runs with the lower order to line England a frightening 482-run target to win. In their response, England is 53/3 at stumps on Day 3 needing another 429 leaving India seven strikes faraway from leveling the series 1-1.

India was bowled out for 286 in their second innings with Ashwin’s fifth Test century and Virat Kohli’s gritty 62 being the 2 major contributors. Resuming the day on 54/1, India were jolted early when Pujara’s bat got stuck while he was quickly trying to urge back in after hitting the ball to forward short leg and was run out. Jack Leach sent back the opposite overnight batsman Rohit Sharma, getting him out stumped.

Rishabh Pant was promoted before Ajinkya Rahane but resulted in being the second batsman to be out stumped to Leach. Rahane started well with back-to-back boundaries but was out bat-pad, falling to Moeen Ali for the seventh time in Tests. With Kohli batting authoritatively at one end, India looked to him and Axar Patel to place the innings back to trace but the left-handed batsman was out LBW to Ali to scale back India to 106/6.

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India breathed a sigh of relief once they finally got a partnership going between Kohli and Ashwin. Kohli looked in amazing control Ashwin brought out the traditional and reverse sweeps as India kept the scoreboard ticking. The pair added 96 runs for the seventh wicket, taking India’s cause near 400 before the partnership was broken. Kohli’s fine knock came to an end out LBW to Ali, the review not saving him.

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With seven wickets down, a group Ashwin eyed big shots. The wicket of Kuldeep Yadav and later Ishant Sharma falling in at either end of the coffee break gave Ashwin the license to travel for the kill. With India’s lead overflow 450, Ashwin fancied his chances and scored a couple of handy boundaries and a six to require him to 97. a few runs later, Ashwin went for the hoick, got the sting, and hit the four that brought him his first Test century against a team aside from West Indies.

He rotated the strike cleverly with No. 11 Mohammed Siraj, taking clever runs, but in hindsight, giving Siraj more strike wouldn’t have hurt much given how well he was connecting. Siraj remained not out on 16 off 21 with two gigantic sixes before Ashwin played on a ball from Olly Stone.

England lost Dominic Sibley within the ninth over out LBW to Axar, but Rory Burns and Dan Lawrence batted well and looked good to end the day with England only one wicket down. But Ashwin picked up his first wicket of the second innings when he had Burns caught by Kohli within the slip cordon. It brought out Jack Leach because the night-watchman, which was a bold move given the type of roll the Indian spinners were on. And England had to play the worth with Axar getting a dismissing him and getting the 3rd wicket before stumps.

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