The Indian cricket team needs 381 runs on the fifth day of the ongoing Test against England after off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin scalped six wickets to end the visitors’ second innings on 178 runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Monday.
The hosts were 39 for one at stumps on Day 4 with Shubman Gill (batting 15) and Cheteshwar Pujara (batting 12) at the crease after England set them a target of 420 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match Test series.
Team India’s highest successful chase in Tests is 406/4, which came way back in 1976 in the West Indies. MS Dhoni-led India had also successfully chased 387 against England in 2008 in Chennai.
Earlier in the day, Ashwin bagged his 28th five-wicket haul to dismiss the visitors for 178 an hour before the close of play. The 34-year-old finished with figures of 6/61.
Interestingly, Ashwin also emulated a 114-year-record after he started the proceedings for India with the new ball and also took a wicket off his first ball. The Chennai-born cricketer became just the third spinner and first since South Africa's Bert Vogler to pick up a wicket off the first ball of an innings in Tests. Vogler had registered the milestone in 1907 in a Test match against England at The Oval.
R Ashwin is the first spinner in over 100 years to take a wicket off the first ball of an innings!— ESPNcricinfo stats (@ESPNcric_stats) February 8, 2021
Bobby Peel, 1888
Bert Vogler, 1907
R Ashwin, 2021#INDvENG
England's Bobby Peel was the first-ever spinner to take a wicket off the first delivery of an innings in 1888 in Manchester against Australia.
Meanwhile, Ishant Sharma became the third Indian pacer and the sixth Indian bowler to get to 300 Test wickets when he dismissed Daniel Lawrence.
3️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ 🎆— BCCI (@BCCI) February 8, 2021
Congratulations @ImIshant. He becomes the third Indian fast bowler to take 300 Test wickets. He traps Lawrence in the front as England lose their third wicket. #TeamIndia #INDvENG pic.twitter.com/fgKJnae4nm
Twitter reacted to Ashwin’s five-wicket haul, Ishant reaching 300 wickets milestone in Tests and England’s delayed declaration.
Well done @ashwinravi99 for yet another 6 wicket haul.. keep it up— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) February 8, 2021
28th five-wicket haul for @ashwinravi99 one of the Greats in the history of the game and this will be more special with this ground being his home. Most five-wicket hauls in Tests since January 2010 for this man! Congratulations Ash. #EngvsInd @StarSportsIndia pic.twitter.com/gEWl2A0jOX— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) February 8, 2021
At home or anywhere overseas, Ravichandran Ashwin @ashwinravi99 is the best spin bowler in the world by some distance. Probably the best bowler of all times, with Pat Cummins close somewhere. Plus, he can bat hours to save away Tests on wearing pitches...#INDvENG— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) February 8, 2021
What an achievement @ImIshant Congratulations on becoming the third Indian pacer to reach the 300-wicket milestone in Tests. Always admired your work ethic and commitment towards the game especially this format. And you thoroughly deserve this rich reward. #INDvsENG pic.twitter.com/kWwCN0zN47— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) February 8, 2021
Wicket number 300 for @ImIshant reinvented himself as a bowler and kept on improving. That’s a huge huge achievement. Just brilliant in Aus in 2008 and then lost a little before coming back as a champion bowler again. Congrats.— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) February 8, 2021
Ishant Sharma in Tests:— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) February 8, 2021
First 49 matches:
Wickets - 138.
Average - 38.53.
Strike Rate - 68.98.
Next 49 matches:
Wickets - 162.
Average - 26.98.
Strike Rate - 54.4.
-A complete different and probably India's best Test bowler since 2013.
Very surprised England haven’t declared yet & why aren’t they trying to get 400 asap? England batted to long in the 1st innings too & now letting the game drift & showing no urgency at all. Surely they are better of bowling now than wasting overs not scoring any runs @SkyCricket— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) February 8, 2021
I think he is being get too cautious and is giving India a good chance of getting out of this Test with a draw .. https://t.co/OYGVe8UToI— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) February 8, 2021
Ashwin is overjoyed with Root's decision to bat on. But do India want this last wicket?— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 8, 2021
England had bowled India out for 337 runs in their first innings after the visitors had posted a mammoth 578 runs in their first innings.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter/ICC