Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday said that the Indian team has responded like a warrior to whatever has been thrown at them in the ongoing series against Australia. India has been set a target of 407 runs to win the third Test. At stumps, the Ajinkya Rahane-led side reached a score of 98/2, with Rohit Sharma playing a knock of 52 runs while Shubman Gill scored 31. Cheteshwar Pujara and Rahane are currently unbeaten on 9 and 4 respectively and the visitors still need 309 runs to win the match.
“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. 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.
The Indian team on Saturday lodged an official complaint after the crowd at the SCG racially abused pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, over the second and third day of the ongoing Sydney Test. The crowd did not stop on day four of the ongoing Pink Test, as Siraj along with India skipper Ajinkya Rahane had a word with umpire Paul Reiffel regarding the unruly behaviour of the crowd.
Visuals on television indicated that there were some words spoken for Siraj who was fielding near the boundary rope. Both the umpires then had a word with each other and the police then asked a group of men to leave the stand.
“If I look at my first tour here in 2011-12, I had no clue what racial abuse is and how you can be made to look so small in front of so many people, another set of people is there who laughs at these things, whenever we stood at the boundary rope, we wanted to step in 10 yards to evade these things, but as we have toured more and more, we have learnt these things are not acceptable,” said Ashwin.
“When Siraj brought this to our issue yesterday, Ajinkya, me and Rohit brought it to the notice of the umpires, today boys know about all these, Siraj who has just come in knows there are certain lines that cannot be crossed, we are happy that the section of the crowd was evicted today,” he added.
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.
Earlier, Australia declared their second innings at 312/6 after Cameron Green and Steve Smith played knocks of 84 and 81 respectively.
The hosts had gained a 94-run lead after bundling out India for 244 in the first innings.
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