Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said on Monday his team is still in a positive frame of mind to chase down any target that Australia set them on the fifth and final day of the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Australia built a considerable 326-run lead after reaching 261 for seven on the fourth day here at the MCG.
“We are in a very positive frame of mind. We could get them out or they could set a target for us and we are pretty okay with anything. We will take it as it comes,” Ashwin said on Monday.
“Any score on the final day is going to be tricky. It is going to be hard work but we are up for it. We are here to win.”
Ashwin put down his performance in the second innings, where he took two important wickets, to the optimum combination of discipline and imagination.
“In this innings I thought if I could nip off a couple or more wickets, I’d be doing well for the team. So, I tried to use my imagination within the limits of keeping one end bottled up for the seamers,” he said.
“Brisbane had a bit of bounce and I thought the Adelaide wicket deteriorated the most. This one hasn’t deteriorated at all. Here a spinner still needs to apply a lot of imagination to pick wickets.”
The spinner also credited the fast bowlers for putting more pressure on Australia’s batsmen and especially praised Ishant Sharma.
“I thought our fast bowlers bowled really well today. They bowled their hearts out,” the right-arm spinner said.
“Ishant bowled really well. After the rain break, he bowled three spells and all of them were bang-on. Standing in the slip I felt that nicks were going to come but the carry to the slips has also come down,” he added.
“We were standing up, trying to create chances but it still didn’t carry much. The cloud cover aided the pacers today but I thought he bowled well in the first innings as well.”