Tim Paine’s infamous words at the New Year’s Test have once again come back to haunt him as India took control of the second Test against England in Chennai.
On what can only be described as a minefield, India’s Ravichandran Ashwin recorded his fifth Test century on Monday evening, 24 hours after England supporters complained the dusty pitch unfairly favoured spin bowlers.
Ashwin combined with Indian captain Virat Kohli for a 96-run partnership, the pair expertly conquering the tough conditions to embarrass England’s batsmen, who were rattled for 134 earlier the previous day.
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The 34-year-old Ashwin reached triple figures in the evening session, bringing up the milestone with a thick outside edge which flew over the slip fielder.
He became the second Test cricketer to score a century and take a five-wicket haul in the same Test match on three occasions, joining the legendary Sir Ian Botham.
Ravichandran Ashwin brings up his fifth Test century.Source:Twitter
Ashwin’s teammates gave him a standing ovation from the players box as the spinner celebrated his first international century since August 2016, leaping in the air and saluting the home crowd.
But nobody was more ecstatic than India seamer Mohammed Siraj, who was filmed pumping his fists in pure joy at the other end of the pitch.
Rewind five weeks, the Australian captain’s uncouth sledge in Sydney now seems even more foolish.
“At least my teammates like me, d***head,” Paine uttered from behind the stumps.
“I’ve got a lot more Indian friends than you do. Even your teammates think you’re a goose. Don’t they. Every one.”
Tim Paine was quite right.
This man isn't liked by his teammates, he's LOVED by them! https://t.co/mfyYrhJLl1
At least Paine’s teammates like him, dickhead.
Ashwin gets a magnificent hundred and Mohammed Siraj pumps his fists in greater joy.
Is it wrong that I'm wondering what Tim Paine must be thinking of his sledge to Ashwin about no one in the Indian team liking him? #INDvENG
Siraj and the rest of the Indian team's celebration of Ashwin's hundred rather debunks Tim Paine's theory that none of them like him, doesn't it?
Paine has already faced a barrage of mockery for earlier remarks in last month’s ugly sledging onslaught.
“We can’t wait to get you to the Gabba, Ash,” Paine said. “You wait until you get to the Gabba, pal.”
And every Australian cricket fans knows what went down at the Gabba the following week.
Paine later apologised for his behaviour on day five of the New Year’s Test, with Australian coach Justin Langer and chief selector Trevor Hohns jumping to his defence.
Speaking to RSN on Tuesday morning, Paine addressed some of the criticism he has copped since January, with a handful of cricket pundits questioning his leadership.
“I know it’s a critique as me as a cricketer and a captain, as long as it’s not a personal attack on me then I couldn’t care less all that worries me is what my teammates think, and the feedback is I’ve been doing a good job,” Paine said.
“I’m not dwelling on it now. I was for a few days, but I think you’ve got to look yourself in the mirror and see where you can get better, and now looking forward to moving on, getting another crack at it.”
Ravichandran Ashwin embraces teammate Mohammed Siraj.Source:FOX SPORTS
Ashwin was eventually dismissed by England paceman Olly Stone for 106, his classy knock featuring 14 boundaries and a six over the mid-wicket boundary.
India was bowled out for 286 on Monday, setting the tourists an unlikely target of 482 for victory.
To rub salt into the wounds, Ashwin removed opening Rory Burns for 25 just before stumps to leave England reeling at 3/53.
Ashwin and Botham are the only Test cricketers to boast five centuries and 25 five-wicket hauls in their career.
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