Going for the win

Australia captain Smith passes Bradman for record of runs in a series against India but tourists hold out slim hopes.

    Steve Smith has flourished as Australia's stand-in captain with an historic series [GALLO/GETTY]
    Steve Smith has flourished as Australia's stand-in captain with an historic series [GALLO/GETTY]

    Encouraged by the perfect batting conditions and armed with a positive mindset, India will chase their first win of the series once Australia set them a target on the final day of the fourth Test, Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said on Friday.

    Australia, 2-0 up in the series, have already taken an overall 348-run lead in the final match with four wickets intact and will declare early enough on Saturday to give their bowlers enough time to claim 10 Indian second innings wickets.

    Skipper Steve Smith led the way with another torrent of runs as Australia raced to 251 for six before rain stopped play.

    The Australian captain raced to his half century in 44 balls and had soon passed Donald Bradman as his country's highest scorer in a series against India, his 71 bringing his series tally to 769.

    Rather than batting out Saturday for a draw, Ashwin suggested the visitors will try to chase down the target on a benign track at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

    Sensible victory

    "We are here to play positive cricket and win games of cricket. If presented with the chance to try and go for a victory, we will try to go for it as sensibly as possible," the 28-year-old off-spinner told reporters.

    "We are here to win games of cricket, there's no two ways about it.

    "It all depends on how positively you can bat and the techniques you apply. Definitely it's going to be a very positive game tomorrow, we will try and be positive about it."

    Number eight batsman Ashwin himself capitalised on the ideal batting conditions to hit his fourth Test fifty and was confident India can still sign off the series with a win.

    "It's still pretty decently poised, although they definitely have an ace up. We'll have to see how it goes.

    "There's not a lot of devils in the wicket, but we definitely found it a little too hard to score, it's a new ball wicket."

    Underlining how good the track was for batting, Ashwin (50) added 65 runs for the eighth wicket with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (30), who was adjudged caught in a controversial decision.

    "This was one of the slowest innings in my Test career. I wanted to bat as deep as possible and put it into as many holes as possible and make sure that if any team won, it was India," Ashwin, who has two Test centuries, said of his 111-ball knock.

    "But fortunately or unfortunately, the game is very well poised now, you don't know which way it's going to go."

    SOURCE: Reuters


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