Wednesday, December 7, 2022

India are in front: Ashwin

Brisbane, Dec 18 (IANS) After piling up 408 in their first innings, India reduced Australia to 221 runs for four at stumps on day two of the second cricket Test and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin Thursday said the visitors had an upper hand going into the third day.

Pacer Umesh Yadav distinguished himself, picking up three wickets for 48 while Ashwin claimed the other wicket to fall Thursday, giving away 66 runs.

The off-spinner, who also contributed to the team’s cause with a handy score of 35 off 41 balls, said that having the hosts four down and with a sizeable lead of 187 still, India have an upperhand in the Test.

“I think we are in front at this point. If we can have a good session tomorrow, we will have our noses further in front,” he said.

Ashwin, who made way for leg-spinner Karn Sharma in the team for the first Test, started off with a miserly spell of 10-3-18-1, dismissing the dangerous Shane Watson.

He got the right-handed batsman to heave one to mid-on where Shikhar Dhawan took a diving catch.

Explaining how he planned the dismissal, Ashwin said: “I visualised Watson’s dismissal such that he would flat-bat it straight to mid-off or mid-on or get caught at short leg, because he goes hard and looks to hit the ball straight. I thought I could be a little flatter and quickish and beat him with pace.”

When he came on to bowl again, Ashwin was taken for runs by Australian captain Steven Smith, who used his feet beautifully to score four boundaries and two sixes off him.

Ashwin said it didn’t bog him down and that he will continue to try and dismiss him on the third day.

“Using the feet is going to be much easier for batsmen on such wickets. If it was a slightly different wicket with more footmarks, I’d fancy myself much more. I still do, I’ll still keep pitching the ball up and try to get wickets tomorrow morning.

“It’s not about anyone in particular but in general we will like a couple of quick wickets tomorrow morning,” he said.

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