This is Ashwin’s fifth test hundred in his 75th match and first in his home town of Chennai, as the crowd, allowed entry for the first time for this test, enjoyed it thoroughly.
This was for the thrid time Ashwin had scored a century after taking five wickets in the first innings. Earlier he had done twice against West Indies at Mumbai in 2011 and at North Sound in 2016.
For England, left arm spinner Jack Leach and off-spinner Moeen Ali, who got ball to turn and bounce, bagged four wickets each and nippy pacer got on wicket, when Ashwin under-edged him and was the last man out.
Resuming at 54 for one, India lost quick wickets and were reduced to 106 for six on a crumbling pitch, before Kohli and Ashwin added 96 runs in 19.3 overs for the seventh wicket.
The last four wickets contributed 180 runs in about 50 overs.
It was a masterly innings by Kohli who negated the turn by using his feet against the spinners and was quick to go back if the bowler altered the length, while being severe if width was offered.
A leaning cover drive off Moeen Ali stood testimony to Kohli’sbatting display.
Ashwin on the other hand, played with controlled aggression and used the sweep shots effectively against them slow bowlers, while being dogged in his defence.
Ashwin’s was a serene knock, which had aggression initially and a sense of composure as he grew in confidence in tackling the spinners, before opening out towards the end, and in the process added 49 runs for the last wicket with Mohd Siraj in 55 balls.
In fact, Ashwin needed 23 runs when Siraj joined him. the No.11 defended well till Ashwin reached his century, hitting a six over mid wicket, followed it by a brace and an edgy boundary to third man fence of Moeen Ali.
Following is the scoreboard:
India (first innings): 329
England (first innings): 134
India (second innings):
Rohit Sharma st Foakes b Leach 26
Shubman Gill lbw Jack Leach 14
Cheteswar Pujara (run out) 7
Virat Kohli lbw Moeen Ali 62
Rishab Pant st Foakes b Leach 8
Ajinkya Rahane c Pope b Moeen Ali 10
Axar Patel lbw Moeen Ali 7
R Ashwin b Stone 106
Kuldeep Yadav lbw Moeen Ali 3
Ishant Sharma c Stone b Leach 7
Mohd Siraj (not out) 16
Extras: (b-5, lb-15) 20
Total: 286 all out in 85.5 overs.
Fall of wickets: 1-42, 2-55, 3-55, 4-65, 5-86, 6-106, 7-202, 8-210, 9-237, 10-286.
Olly Stone 6.5-1-21-1
Jack Leach 33-6-100-4
Moeen Ali 32-7-98-4
Joe Root 4-0-15-0
Stuart Broad 9-3-25-0
Dan Lawrence 1-0-7-0 (UNI)