Indian off-spinner R Ashwin said that he was proud of his team’s response and mentioned that they had responded as warriors to whatever has been thrown at them in the ongoing series against Australia.
India currently needs 407 runs to win the Sydney Test and ended day 4 on 98/2 with Rahane and Pujara being the unbeaten batsmen. Openers Shubman Gill (31) and Rohit Sharma (52) added 71 runs before being dismissed in the last session.
The visitors will need to make 309 runs to win the match or bat out the entire day to draw the Test match. The series stands 1-1 with Australia winning in Adelaide and India leveling the series in Melbourne.
“As a cricket team, we have not spoken about how things are not going our way. Sometimes they don’t go their way, that’s how the sport is but we refrain from talking about things that are not in our control, we can only do what we can do. I personally feel whatever has been thrown at us, we have responded you know in a warrior type of fashion,” said Ashwin during a virtual press conference on Sunday.
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Indian team has been hampered by injuries right from the start as Ishant Sharma was ruled out of the series due to a side strain and Rohit Sharma missed the white-ball series and first two Tests due to a hamstring niggle.
Mohammad Shami had his right hand broken by Pat Cummins in the first Test, while Umesh Yadav’s hamstring gave way in the second Test.
Even in the ongoing Test, Ravindra Jadeja suffered a broken thumb in his left hand, ruling him out 6 weeks and Rishabh Pant copped a painful blow on his elbow. He didn’t keep for India in the second innings, with Wriddhiman Saha taking the gloves.
However, Ashwin confirmed that Pant will bat in the second innings and said, “Just for clarification, it has already been made clear that Pant will bat in the second innings, he will bat, the bruise he suffered was quite severe and he was in a lot of pain.”
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Talking about the chances of India walking away with a victory in the third Test, Ashwin said: “Firstly in a Test match, you do not look at the overall score and say to yourself that you will go for the win next day, it does not happen this way, there are passages of play and red-ball format is different, you put yourself in a position in the last session and then there you decide what needs to be done, tomorrow as well, batsmen will step in thinking they can do it.
I cannot say Nathan Lyon will come into play or not, we would like to play all their bowlers on merit and we would not think about a particular individual.”
“It is very important that we play out a good first session tomorrow, ideally we should look to not lose a wicket in the first session, we are hopeful that Rahane and Pujara will put up a good performance,” he added.