ADELAIDE, Australia – India wasn’t fazed by Australia amassing 335-3 and was plain unlucky, spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said after the first day Tuesday of the fourth test.
Captains past and present, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke, scored hundreds as Australia laid the foundation for a big first-innings score and increased the chances of a 4-0 series whitewash. Ponting was 137 not out for his 41st test century, and Michael Clarke 140 not out.
“Nobody is embarrassed in the dressing room,” Ashwin said after a difficult day for India in the field.
Ashwin made inroads on the Australia top order with two wickets in the morning before Ponting and Clarke took control with a 251-run undefeated stand over the next four hours, grinding down the tourists.
Ashwin toiled for 26 overs for a return of 2-81, and India was left to rue the missed opportunity of playing two spinners. The tourists left out left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha in favour of swing bowler Ishant Sharma, who has been at his best in this series.
“We are all quite happy to keep coming out and keep trying again and again. And it will turn around some time,” Ashwin said. “But nobody is embarrassed, I’m very sure about that.
“We have nothing to lose at this point of time.
“We are 3-0 down and it gives us a bit of a licence to be really very carefree about it and just go out and play our natural game, which can be a real blessing in disguise for us.”
India came close to dismissing skipper Clarke on 133 when an edge off the second new ball flew perilously close to second slip, where VVS Laxman managed to get only fingertips on it. At other opportunities the ball edged too wide or didn’t carry to the fielders.
“The rub of the green hasn’t gone our way,” Ashwin said. “But you can’t really help not having the rub of the green, the nicks are not going to hand, we’re beating the bat so many times.
“It was that kind of day at the office.”
Ashwin praised the batting of the Australia pair and conceded his side gave away easy runs instead of applying pressure long enough.
“They just took off,” he said.