Ashwin can bat only on turners: Former players laud spinner

R Ashwin, who on Monday scored a century to become the first Indian player to score a hundred and take five wickets in an innings of a Test for a third time, earned effusive praise from former cricketers.

Ashwin took five wickets for 43 in England’s first innings on Sunday, the second day of the second Test, and followed it up with 106 on on Monday. It was his fifth Test ton.

Vinoo Mankad (vs England at Lord’s, London, in 1952) and Polly Umrigar (vs West Indies in Port of Spain in 1961-62) are the other Indians to score a century and take five wickets in an innings.

“So, for a man who allegedly picks wickets on turners according to some, gets a hundred on a turner in the 2nd innings.. Well done @ashwinravi99 .. Can bat only on turners!! (emoticons: winking face with tongue),” said former India and Tamil Nadu batsman WV Raman.

Former England batsman Ian Bell tweeted, “Well, this is pretty special. Ruthless from India. Wonderful cricket. #Ashwin.”

Former India Test opener Shikhar Dhawan, who opens for India in limited-overs cricket tweeted, “Chepauk applauds you, the country applauds you (emoticon: clapping hands) Ashwin, what an all round performance! @ashwinravi99.”

Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, whose record for second most wickets at home by an Indian was broken by Ashwin on Sunday, tweeted, “Class 100 (emoticons: clapping hands) Simply outstanding @ashwinravi99 take a bow Man bowing deeply.. showing everyone how to bat and bowl on this track.. well done @BCCI @StarSportsIndia #INDvsENG.”

Ashwin’s former India and Tamil Nadu teammate, Dinesh Karthik, said that while the whole world is talking about the poor pitch, Ashwin has proved his class by scoring a century at No. 8.

“When the whole whole world talks about it being a bad wicket, @ashwinravi99 gets a 100 batting at 8. I hope this lessens the doubts in all the pundits head. A certain game plan and implicit trust in defence gives you a great chance of doing well in this Chennai wicket #legend,” he tweeted.

India women cricketer Mithali Raj wrote, “What an outstanding performance from @ashwinravi99. The fifer followed by a brilliant hundred in the second innings. Top class (emoticon: raising hands).”

Even the opposition fans were in awe of Ashwin.

“Well Batted Ash! (emoticons: clapping hands) A wonderful innings comes to end for Ashwin as he’s bowled by Stone for 106 Cricket bat and ball.(emoticon: flag of India) all out for 286, lead by 482 runs,” Barmy Army tweeted from its official handle.