Alastair Cook vs R Ashwin has been the contest to watch out for in the ongoing five-Test series between India and England. While Ashwin has enjoyed bowling the England skipper, it has remained a keenly contested battle.
In Mohali, during the England second innings, it was time for another episode. India had tightened the screws on England with a healthy lead, and followed up the show with the bat with a disciplined outing with the ball.
It was as early as the 14th over of the innings, and Ashwin was operating from around the stumps to the elegant left-hander. India’s premier offie piled on the pressure with five dot balls before unleashing a beauty, absolutely beauty!
Ashwin was already in the rhythm and had a nice loop going his way. He was all at ease, and was not rushing through with his deliveries. Patiently, he went through Cook’s gate and shattered the stumps to give India first wicket of the innings.
Pitched around the goodlength spot, around the middle-stump, Ashwin had a nice loop to the delivery. The release, and the seam, directed towards a regular off-break but it behaved differently after pitching.
Cook got a decent stride forward, bat and pad together but not close enough. The delivery straightened a bit after pitching and went through the little gap between the opener’s bat and pad. It disturbed the woodwork and Ashwin scalped the left-hander for the seventh time in the format.
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Before this dismissal, Cook was only out bowled by spinners twice. This was the third instance. Also, Ashwin had never disturbed Cook’s woodwork. It was the first instance on Monday.