Australia v India, 4th Test, Adelaide, 1st day January 24, 2012

Bowlers not carrying a mental block - Ashwin

It's déjà vu all over again for the Indian bowlers. They have had Australia down at 6 for 214 and 4 for 27 at the MCG, 3 for 37 at the SCG, and 3 for 84 here at the Adelaide Oval, only to let the game slip away. R Ashwin, who took two of those three early wickets today, admitted that the side rued letting Australia off the hook, but insisted it wasn't a block in their minds.

"I don't think as a bowling unit we have a psychological block towards that," Ashwin said. "But we were definitely telling each other and egging each other on in the second session that we had to be tight in that particular phase after lunch, which was quite crucial. Actually that's where we shelled the game a little bit.

"We gave quite a few easy runs to both of them, and they just took off from there. After that point it was quite easy to carry the momentum. So it's not like it is a block, but it has happened in two Tests now, once in Sydney, and now in Adelaide. (We will) probably look to get a couple of wickets tomorrow."

Ashwin, though, drew hope from the fact that things couldn't get far worse than they already are. "I think we have nothing to lose at this point of time," he said. "We are 3-0 down. I think it gives us a bit of license to be very carefree about it, and go out and play the natural game, which can be a real blessing in disguise for us. All that is important is to get those first 20-30 runs, and really stick it out. I think we'll have to try and look at those initial starts and capitalise on that."

Ashwin said seniors in the side were of the view that the game could change pretty quickly if they competed with the bat in the first innings. "There are a few seniors in the team who have already told us about how the first innings pans out at the Adelaide Oval, and how good it is to bat on, on the first three days of the game, and then it really changes," Ashwin said. "We are confident, and we are going to try to pick up two early wickets tomorrow."

Ashwin insisted, though, that they were not embarrassed by the performance in Australia. "Two teams play; one has to lose," he said. "It's fine. Nobody is embarrassed in the dressing room. Quite happy to keep coming out and keep trying again and again. Things will turn around some time. Nobody is embarrassed. Very sure about that."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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