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Ashwin Highlights Virat Kohli's Role In Century At Chepauk, Reviews Change In Batting

Ashwin revealed that as he walked out to bat alongside Kohli in the second innings, the skipper had told him to go ahead with the sweep shot if he wanted to

Ravichandran Ashwin

Looking back at his heroics at the Chepauk to help India level the series against England, Ravichandran Ashwin credited skipper Virat Kohli's word of motivation which led to his elite performance with the bat. The veteran off-spinner revealed that as he walked out to bat alongside Kohli in the second innings, the skipper had told him to go ahead with the sweep shot if that is what he wanted to do. Consequently, Ashwin notched up his fifth Test ton extending India's lead and hitting a century after a gap of five years. 

The local lad also looked back on the change in his batting approach and remarked that it had started with Virat Kohli's advice when the Indian team toured South Africa last. "We were practising and I was looking on how to take on the short ball. I was trying to set up pace to pull and when you came up to me and said Ash, 'just go out there. Your big strength is to watch the ball and hit it and play your game.' After that when I went into the Adelaide day-night game, I sort of hit a few balls of the middle and something started to click. I said I have been to much worried about getting things technically right, I am just going to watch the ball and try and give myself space and also give myself time," Ashwin said.

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On his partnership with Kohli against England, Ashwin said, "In this game, I walked out and the first question I asked you was I feel like I want to sweep and take them on, what do you think? And you said just go ahead. If for instance, you told me to take some time, then things would have been different. For me, the right thing has always been the trigger."

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"In the past when I toured, there was more of a desperation to prove others wrong. But this time when I went out there, it was more about proving myself what I am capable of. Something I have noticed from distance and I have seen people who do well through the years is how balanced they are in terms of not wanting to be desperate. Jinks, yourself, when you came back to England the second time, you wanted to do well but really within yourself," Ashwin added as he reviewed his batting.

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5-for first, century next

After having registered his 29th five-for on Sunday against England, Ravichandran Ashwin led the Indian attack on day 3 as he notched up his fifth Test ton on a dusty Chennai pitch. The Indian bowling all-rounder stitched a significant 100-run stand with skipper Virat Kohli after the hosts lost half their side cheaply. Ashwin smashed 14 fours and 2 maximums as he extended India's lead to over 450 before England dismissed the whole side. Ashwin's gritty century to extend India's lead has been lauded by several veterans of the game terming his knock as a 'masterclass' for how to play on the Chepauk pitch. After his century, Ashwin returned to pick 3 wickets as India skittled the tourists for 164, registering a 317-run victory over England in the second Test to level the 4-match series.

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