India will depend on Cheteshwar Pujar and Ajinky in the first session of the final day. It takes their good game if they want to win after a previously disappointing match. Ravichandran Ashwin is aware of how important they are and that a lot will depend on them "It is very important that we play a good first session tomorrow," he said in the presser, as quoted by criccbuz "A very ideal and a good first session will be to not lose a wicket.
And these two gentlemen have proven through their careers how good they are in this format of the game and how important they are. Ajinkya got a century at MCG. Puji (Pujara) got a fifty in the first innings. We are all hopeful that they will put a good performance," he added.
He is aware that the team must believe in themselves and that a focus on the match is needed. He gave an example of a match in Adelaide from 2014 "In a Test match, you don't look at the score and decide that you have to go for a win.
It doesn't happen quite as much as it happens in white-ball cricket. There are passages of play, and the red ball game is quite different when you play on a Day 5 pitch. "Sometimes, when you play to the merit of the ball.
You put yourself in a situation where in the last session, where you can take a dash at it. You don't go in the morning and say 'chalo, hum log 300 bana lenge'" "Last time, when we got it at Adelaide (2014), everybody got off to a good start and the game paced that way and we did believe that the score was in our range.
Tomorrow also, the batsmen walking in will believe they can do it. That belief is very important when you walk out to the park tomorrow morning." Ashwin also commented on the pitch and believes that the pitch did not help him in the last match "You expect quality players to come out with different plans.
For starters, I would like to say that the wicket has had much lesser pace and much lesser bounce than MCG and Adelaide. Sydney has tended to be that way over the years. This was slower than a regular Sydney pitch. Maybe it's because of the sun it received before the game.
And there was a clear strategy by Smith and Marnus to not defend much and push the balls. "The slowness of the pitch and their strategy to push at balls that they have not covered worked really well for them. But I definitely thought that I put them under pressure much better in the second innings than what I had in the first innings.
The wicket was also a touch better that what it was on the first day. It's a duel that I really enjoy. Smith and Marnus are both quality batsmen, and I'm happy that I got him out again in this series."