Rob Key reflects on a difficult first two days for England in the second Test in Chennai in which India’s ‘joker in the pack’ Ravichandran Ashwin has put the hosts in a fantastic position to be able to level the series. After losing the first Test, India have gone into the second on a pitch like this and said ‘we’ll back Ashwin against your spinners’, and it’s worked.
“They won a good toss, albeit I think the toss was less important from India’s point of view, and Rohit Sharma has shown the difference with the bat. I thought that was such a good innings on day one and with every wicket that goes down, that innings get better and better.” Key said. “That aggression and counterpunching on a pitch that was suiting the spinners, it is going to be the difference and there are very few people in the world who you think could have done it.”
“On top of that, I think Ashwin is probably just the best spinner in the world and he is certainly the best spinner in his own conditions,” he added. “These are very, very favourable conditions and it’s like having a joker in the pack. You’ve got the trump card which is going to beat pretty much everyone. On these types of pitches, most spinners can bowl good balls but Ashwin’s all-round class is the difference.”