Indian off-spinner R Ashwin believes his side is currently ahead in the second cricket Test against Australia and said they would look to get some quick wickets in the morning session on Friday.
Australia finished the day 2 at 221 for 4 in reply to India’s total of 408 runs. The hosts still trail by 187 runs. “We are ahead in the game at this point of time. If we can have a good morning session tomorrow then we will be ahead in the game overall,” said Ashwin.
It was a good outing for the off-spinner on day two in Brisbane, after sitting out in Adelaide. He first batted in the morning session, scoring 35 valuable runs as India crossed the 400-run mark despite debutant Josh Hazlewood taking his maiden five-wicket haul. Then he held a couple of catches at first slip, dismissing Shane Watson along the way.
“I think we could have scored a few more runs. I am disappointed how I got out,” he said.
“I think I batted to the best of my ability. After a long time I got a chance to bat in the middle, but felt disappointed to give my wicket away. We still got 400 runs but if we got a few more runs then it would have been better.”
Talking about leg-spinner Karn Sharma being picked ahead of him in the first Test, Ashwin said, “These things are going to happen and not just with me. It has happened to many cricketers in the past and it will happen to many others in the future as well.”
“It was a horses-for-courses policy and sometimes you need to be appreciative that the team needs someone else more than you. I try and learn from it and if I become a better cricketer learning from it, then it is good,” he said.
Even though this is only his 7th Test overseas, Ashwin has played in Australia before.
When asked what he had learnt on the previous tour in 2011-12, Ashwin said: “Firstly, as a bowler you have to be really accurate and wait for the batsman to make a mistake. If conditions are not in your favour then don’t make things happen. You need to have patience. The second thing I learnt was that I was good enough to bat in Australian conditions.”
The match hangs in balance going into the third day as skipper Steve Smith shepherded his side with an unbeaten knock of 65 runs. In fact, Smith hasn’t been dismissed in three innings of the series so far.
“We are not concentrating on any one particular name. We are targeting all batsmen, top or lower order. On this sort of pitch it is easier to use your feet against the spinners, which Steve Smith did well.
“If it was a slightly difficult wicket with more footmarks, maybe I would have fancied myself more against him today. Having said that I still fancy my chances against him when play resumes today,” Ashwin signed off.