Not just with the bat and the ball or the ‘Vaathi Coming’ shoulder drop, local-hero Ravichandran Ashwin put the icing on the cake for the fans at Chepauk on Tuesday when he spoke in Tamil after India beat England by 317 runs. Ashwin’s Tamil received the loudest cheer and again gave fans world over a testament of his popularity.

Going down memory lane, Ashwin recalled how he came here to watch cricket from the stands. He also spoke of the Tests he played in front of the ‘knowledgeable’ Chennai and why the second Test has to be his most special.

“As an eight-year-old I have come here on these very stands to watch cricket. I have played four Test matches here and easily this is the most special. I get a hero’s feeling here playing cricket here. In Covid times this knowledgeable crowd came out in big numbers. They were 1-0 without the crowd, and we made it 1-1 with them. Hopefully, we can take it forward,” he said at the post-match presentation in Tamil when Marali Karthik asked him to do so.

At the post-match presentation, India skipper Virat Kohli also lavished praise on Ashwin’s batting prowess. He also said that Ahmedabad is going to be challenging and expects England to fight back.

“Ashwin batted outstandingly well and that partnership between us was very crucial. I knew I coud trust my defence and easily bat four sessions on this pitch. Ahmedabad is going to be challenging. This England side has quality players and we need to be on our ‘A’ game throughout,” he said.