Ashwin: Two early wickets and we are in front against Austr


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avichandran Ashwin remained confident of India's position despite the visitors losing six wickets for 97 runs to be bowled out for 408. In response, the Australians motored along to 221/4, riding on stand-in skipper, Steve Smith's unbeaten half-century, before bad light ended the day's play.

Ashwin, who had earlier scored an assured 35 batting at No.8, bowled tight lines, to finish with figures of 1-66, on a day when the Gabba surface offered turn and bounce for the off-spinner.

Talking to the media after the day's proceedings, Ashwin, who was left out in Adelaide, said that he relished being part of a competitive Test match environment in Australia once again.

"I was here in 2011, I've learnt that I need to be more accurate with my bowling. Also, I realised that I'm good enough to bat here. It is a pleasure to face the music when we go in. It's also a pleasure to see the opponents face the same," Ashwin said.

The off-spinner from Chennai, opined that the pitch in Brisbane may not be offering much for a finger spinner, but still backed himself to do well. "If it was a slightly different wicket with more foot-marks, I would fancy myself much more, but still, I fancy myself to do well here," the 28-year old told to reporters.

Ashwin also conceded that getting the in-form Steve Smith early tomorrow would be imperative to maintain a stranglehold over the hosts, after India folded in their first innings a lot earlier than anticipated.

"I will keep throwing the ball up and will fancy getting him (Smith) out tomorrow morning. We could have made a little more runs. I was batting well and was really disappointed to give my wicket away. But, 400 is enough I guess. If we can get a couple of wickets tomorrow morning, we are right in front," Ashwin said.

Ashwin who was dropped in favour of leg-spinner, Karn Sharma, for the Adelaide Test was philosophical about not getting enough playing time in overseas Tests. "It's horses for courses. If the team needs someone, you have to give way if the team needs someone more," he concluded.


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Re: Ashwin: Two early wickets and we are in front against Au

I was good enough to bat in Australian conditions, says Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin believes India has a grip on the second Test against Australia and a couple of quick wickets in the morning session on Friday, Day 3, could put them in command.

Australia finished the day at 221 for 4, in reply to India's total of 408. The hosts 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," Ashwin said.

It was a good outing for the off-spinner on Day 2 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 a 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."

Ravichandran Ashwin of India celebrates

Ravichandran Ashwin of India celebrates with team mate Shikhar Dhawan after dismissing Shane Watson of Australia. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Talking about leg-spinner Karn Sharma being picked ahead of him for 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 the ongoing Test is only his seventh overseas, Ashwin has played in Australia before.

Asked what he had learned from the previous tour in 2011-12, he replied: "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 learned 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 tomorrow."