Sydney: Adversities in the form of injuries and racial abuse has only brought the Indian team closer and respond on the field in a warrior-like fashion, says off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
India have been losing players to injuries on the ongoing Australia tour, with the latest being Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant, who though will bat on Day Five of the third Test as India chase 407 for a win at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
"I personally feel whatever has been thrown at us, we have responded in a very warrior-like fashion and we would like to take the fight tomorrow," said Ashwin while speaking to the media on Sunday.
"I feel when adversity comes, the team comes together. Even after the Adelaide Test, we got together and talked, had a team event too. I think we got together pretty tight after that game and we saw the result at the MCG. And we were looking really, really positive coming into this game as well," he added.
Ashwin confirmed that Pant will bat on the fifth day but he said that there is not much that can be done about Jadeja's injury.
"Rishabh Pant will bat, the bruise was quite severe and it was quite painful. Elbow can be quite a tricky place to deal with...But you know such innocuous things like what happened to Jadeja, the ball rose from back of a length and injured him. Sometimes these things happen and it does set you back. I won't say it is not a setback. It is what it is," he said.
The 34-year-old added that the team doesn't discuss what is not in its control.
"As a team, we have decided in the dressing room that we won't really speak about how things are not going your way... We refrain from talking about things that are not in our control. We can only do what we can do and we can control what we can," he said.
India went into Stumps on the fourth day at 98/2 still needing 309 runs to take a 2-1 lead in the ongoing four-match series. They will need a huge partnership between overnight batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and skipper Ajinkya Rahane. If they are able to stay in, India could even fancy a chance of going after the total in the last session as Ashwin believes that the wicket isn't doing much.
"The pitch has been quite slow and it has been quite good to bat. In fact, the balls that we saw misbehave yesterday, go up and down have come down...the game started off with the pitch not seeing a lot of sun. As the sun is belting down, the wicket is getting better to bat," he said.
"It is very important that we play a very good and ideal first session without losing a wicket. And these two gentlemen out there have proven all through their career about how good they are... Ajinkya has got a hundred at the MCG. Pujju made a 50 in first innings...we are very confident that they will do a good job," he added.
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