Ashwin feels contest is still neck-and-neck

Adelaide: Far from getting excited after having Australia in a spot of bother, India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said on Friday the first Test is ‘extremely well poised’ and every run in the remaining days will be worth its weight in gold.  A relentless Indian bowling attack restricted Australia to 191 for seven on the second day. “I thought we really bottled them up, soaked them up and put on pressure from both ends,” said Ashiwn, the most successful visiting bowler with figures of 3-50.

“We don’t isolate it as a fast bowling or spin bowling pack. We identify it as a bowling unit together because one cannot exist without the other. Today was another perfect attrition day for us,” he said. Australia trailed by 59 runs and Ashwin said the Test was still on equal terms. “I bowled an extended 22-over spell even before and after tea to make sure that we do not give away more runs. I see it as neck-and-neck in the game. Whoever can get momentum from hereon has the edge in this Test. I think it is extremely well poised. Every run is going to be gold dust from here.”

About the pitch condition, he said, “I thought there was a bit more stickiness yesterday and the speed has definitely come down. When we were batting yesterday I don’t think it was as slow as it was today. I think the wicket has slowed down Considerably and I don’t expect it to quicken up more either. I think it’s going to slow down more.” Ashwin would not predict how much the pitch will slow down or deteriorate. “I don’t know what’s going to happen because it is a drop-in wicket. ecause of the amount of grass I don’t see the footmarks widening as much as they did the last time (in 2014).

“If anything has to be done, you have to do it on the fourth or fifth day. We need to see how much it grips. “Adelaide generally offers a bit of spin but looking at the grass today we didn’t think we would get the hold that we are getting out there. There is a little bit of hold in the wicket and it is not considerable or vicious.”

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