With the Test series final against England in Dharamsala still four days away, veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, amid his preparations for the match, has been keenly following the proceedings of the Ranji Trophy semifinal match between Mumbai and his state side Tamil Nadu, as evident from his activity on social media platform X. Tamil Nadu were folded for just 146 runs on Day 1 of the match on Saturday before Mumbai steered past the score to take the lead on Day 2 after Sai Kishore’s stunning five-wicket haul in the opening session.

Ashwin channels his inner Ravi Shastri in blockbuster praise for Shardul Thakur
Ashwin channels his inner Ravi Shastri in blockbuster praise for Shardul Thakur

Mumbai’s recovery was down to a valiant eighth-wicket stand of a century from 131 deliveries between Shardul Thakur and Hardik Tomare, en route to which the India bowling all-rounder scored a half-century. En route to the knock, as Thakur launched an onslaught against the bowlers of Tamil Nadu, Ashwin channelled his inner Ravi Shastri to post a legendary tweet for his India teammate.

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Taking to X, Ashwin posted: “Dey lord beefy! Enough da #MumbaivsTN #RanjiTrophy.”

‘Beefy’ was a nickname given to Shardul by former India coach Shastri in a playful nod to former England great Ian Botham. The veteran India cricketer revealed it after Shardul played a counterattacking cameo to revive India from 127 for seven in the fourth Test of a series against England in 2021 at The Oval. The right-handed tailender scored the fastest-ever Test fifty at the venue en route to his 36-ball 57 as he top-scored for the visitors in a total of 191 all out.

“These guys are teasing me with his name,” Thakur later responded to the comparison with laughter. “I think it’s good to compare with a great of the game.”

On Sunday, Thakur had walked in after Kishore completed his five-wicket haul bu dismissing Shams Mulani for a two-ball duck in the opening session. Thakur’s half-century helped Mumbai go past the 200-run mark, reviving from 106 for seven, when they were 40 runs behind Tamil Nadu’s first-innings total.


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