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PURPLE PATCH: Ravichandran Ashwin has been in flying form in 2021 with both ball and bat and so is the subject of this week’s Purple Patch.


As India wrapped up a convincing victory in the second Test against England, many of the plaudits were given to Rohit Sharma after his glorious first innings hundred teed up the game for his country.

And while Sharma’s innings was a big reason for India’s dominant victory, their ‘spin king’ Ravichandran Ashwin was once again up to his old tricks as he bamboozled the majority of England’s batsmen with his trickery and guile.

His eight wickets in Chennai continued a seriously impressive start to 2021 that has seen him reach fifth in the world Test all-rounder rankings as he continues to be the bowler his captain Virat Kohli turns to.

This year, the 34-year-old has bowled 162.9 overs, taking 19 wickets at an economy rate of just 2.90.

As mentioned, those impressive numbers have seen him break into the top five in the world Test rankings and it’s not just his bowling that has served his country so well.

With India already in a dominant position, Ashwin showed he’s very much an all-rounder with a brilliant 106 in the second innings in Chennai. If they weren’t in a strong enough position already, Ashwin galvanised India’s standing in the match and made the difficult task England had a virtually impossible one.

His innings as well as his eight wickets in the game meant he was awarded the man of the match award and you feel he’s going to be huge influence for the rest of the series.

Whatever happens, though, if Ashwin continues the form he’s shown in 2021 so far, England are in for a very tough final two Tests.