‘The longest 48 hours of our lives…’: Ashwin’s wife hails his return during 3rd England Test

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RAJKOT: Prithi, the wife of veteran Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday penned down an emotional note after the star cricketer made a return to the game during day four of the third Test against England after missing the day three due to personal reasons, calling the 48 hours between the 500th and 501st wicket as the “longest of our lives.”

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) organised a charter flight for Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to make his return to the team after he was forced to miss the third day of the Test against England due to a medical emergency in his family.

Ashwin missed the third day of the Test match due to personal reasons. Ashwin participated in the first two days, taking his 500th Test wicket on day two, but had to miss day three. Later on, day four, which also proved to be the final day of action as India crushed England by 434 runs, Ashwin returned and took his 501st scalp.

Prithi took to Instagram and wrote that the 500th wicket did not come in the first Test at Hyderabad and the second Test in Vizag, but she still bought a “ton of sweets” when Ashwin was at his 499th Test scalp. She said that the 48 hours between Ashwin’s 500th and 501st Test scalp were the “longest of our lives.”

She hailed Ashwin for her “phenomenal achievement” and told Ashwin that she was proud of him. “500. We chased the 500 in Hyderabad, it did not happen. To Vizag, it didn’t happen. So I just bought a ton of sweets and gave it to everyone at home at 499. 500 came and went quietly. Till it didn’t. A lot happened between 500 and 501. Longest 48 hours of our lives. But this is about the 500. And the 499 before that. What a phenomenal achievement. What a phenomenal guy. I am insanely proud of you @rashwin99 We love you!,” said Prithi in her Instagram post.

Coming to the match, the Three Lions, while chasing 557 was bundled out for just 122 runs in 39.4, losing the match by 434 runs. Ravindra Jadeja took 5/41, while Kuldeep Yadav took two wickets. Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah took a wicket each.

Earlier, India secured a 556-run second innings lead, declaring their second innings at 430/4. Following skipper Rohit’s early fall for just 19 runs, young batters Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill steadied the ship for India with a 155-run partnership for the second wicket, which ended after Jaiswal retired hurt for 104. India ended the day three at 196/2, with Gill (65*) and Kuldeep Yadav (3*).

On day four, Gill and Kuldeep continued to stitch yet another partnership, which ended with Gill heartbreakingly missing his fourth Test ton due to a run-out, scoring 91 in 151 balls, with nine fours and two sixes. Kuldeep also made a solid 27 in 91 balls, leaving India at 258/4. From this point on, Jaiswal resumed his innings with fellow Mumbai star Sarfaraz Khan. Both took the English spinners to cleaners.

Jaiswal scored his second double-century in Tests after scoring his first one in the last Test. A key highlight of his knock was smashing veteran pace legend James Anderson for a hat-trick of sixes. Sarfaraz also scored his back-to-back half-century on Test debut. India ended the innings at 430/4, with Jaiswal (214* in 236 balls, 14 fours and 12 sixes) and Sarfaraz (68* in 72 balls, with six fours and three sixes) unbeaten to form a 172-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Joe Root, Tom Hartley and Rehan Ahmed took a wicket each for England.

Earlier, England in their first inning scored 319 runs in reply to India’s 445 runs in their first inning. Though Ben Duckett (153 in 151 balls, with 23 fours and two sixes) scored the fastest century by an English player in India, no other batter could give him much support. Skipper Stokes (41 in 89 balls, with six fours) and Pope (39 in 55 balls, with five fours and a six) played some decent knocks.

Siraj was the pick of the bowlers for India with 4/84, while Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja took two wickets each. Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin managed a scalp each, with the latter reaching his 500th Test wicket as well.

In the first innings, after opting to bat first, India put up 445 in the first innings. The hosts were rocked by England bowlers earlier and were struggling at 33/3. Then skipper Rohit stepped up, forming a 204-run stand with Jadeja. Rohit scored 131 runs in 196 balls, with 14 fours and three sixes. Jadeja went on to score his third Test ton and crafted a 77-run stand with debutant Sarfaraz (62 in 66 balls, with nine fours and a six). Useful scores from debutant Dhruv Jurel (46 in 104 balls, with two fours and three sixes) and Ashwin (37 in 89 balls, with six fours) took India to a fine total.

Mark Wood justified his selection with figures of 4/114. Rehan got two wickets while Root, Hartley and Anderson got a wicket each. Jadeja was awarded the Player of the Match for his all-round performance in the Test match. (ANI)

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