India vs England: When Moeen Ali Asked R Ashwin ‘What is Valimai?’ After Crowd Seeks ‘Updates’
R Ashwin recalled a hilarious moment from the second Test in Chennai, where a section of the crowd at the MA Chidambaram askd England allrounder Moeen Ali for updates on a Tamil movie ‘Valimai’.
Seeking updates about Valimai, starring popular actor Ajith Kumar, has become a running joke across Tamil Nadu. The movie has been in the works for more than a year but the makers have remained tight lipped about developments, which has resulted in section of fans seeking updates from all types of celebrities. As it turned out, even Moeen and Ashwin weren’t spared.
Here’s Ashwin recalling the incident in his YouTube show after the game, where he emerged Man of the Match for his eight wickets across two innings to go with his century.
“There was one striking funny moment that showed how passionate or crazy we people in Tamil Nadu are about movies. I was in the boundary line, and suddenly one guy called out ‘Ashwin, Ashwin, Ashwin.’ I turned around and asked him ‘what’, and he replied: ‘Valimai update?’
“I was totally foxed, didn’t understand what was going on. Later in the day I googled it. Next day, Moeen Ali came up and asked ‘What is Valimai?’ It meant they’ve asked Moeen Ali for Valimai update too when he has been at the boundary! Asking an England player for Valimai update was outstanding, I cannot take it off my head (laughs)!”
Ashwin recalled other incidents from the game involving the crowd.
— Anand (@anandviswajit) February 13, 2021
“You made me feel like a hero. You even made me dance to the steps of a song from Master. I’m just totally overwhelmed, I have no words.
“There were a lot of small moments involving the crowd that I enjoyed. When I was batting, Ben Stokes was walking with his hands and the crowd enjoyed it. As a crowd, it’s not easy to enjoy small moments and humour. The crowd understood the ebbs and flows of a match. Usually when India is bowling, the stands becomes empty but that didn’t happen.
“The crowd sang Happy Birthday Ben Foakes, and Stokes asked them to sing louder. That was nice to see. This morning, they not just sang happy birthday Mayank Agarwal but also made him cut an imaginary cake. I totally enjoyed it.
— ᵛᵃˡᶤᵐᵃᶤ (@Pandiya28118947) February 15, 2021
“Another moment I enjoyed was the crowd cheering every time Mohammed Siraj defended when I was batting in the 90s. He came up to me and said ‘not even my father has clapped this much for my defence, there are so many people cheering me now, you’ll surely get your 100 and I’ll play till then’.
“Also, I noted that Kohli and Rishabh Pant cheered me in Tamil saying ‘vera level’ (different level). I think Virat would have picked it up from Murali Vijay, who used to do it when he was in the team.”
India won the second Test by 317 runs to level the series 1-1.