Ashwin picks his 29th fifer, as India takes a massive lead

India built a commanding lead of 249 after spinner Ravichandran Ashwin helped skittle England for 134 on day two of the second Test on Sunday.

The hosts were 54 for one at stumps in Chennai with Rohit Sharma on 25 and Cheteshwar Pujara on seven. India are in sight of a victory that would level the four-match series after their crushing defeat in the opening Test.

Sharma, who hit 161 in India’s first innings, survived a stumping chance on 20 when England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes failed to gather the ball to his left off Moeen Ali.

Jack Leach trapped Shubman Gill leg before for 14 with his left-arm spin and the opener walked back after an unsuccessful TV review.

Ashwin had earlier claimed five wickets as England collapsed in response to India’s 329, conceding a lead of 195.

England assistant coach Graham Thorpe said it was one of the most difficult batting pitches he had seen.

“The guys have plans but they didn’t happen today for us,” said Thorpe. But Ashwin said batsmen have to adapt on a spinners’ pitch like they do on tracks that favour fast bowlers.

“It’s about being very patient (on a turning track) like you play on a seaming wicket. You need to really tide through the early phase and then start putting runs on the board,” he said.
“So I think the same kind of expectations and benchmarks need to be set on a challenging pitch.”