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India first innings tally short of target concedes Ashwin

India won
the toss and chose to bat, seeking to set an imposing score on a wicket that
was expected to be conducive to run scoring before deteriorating later on.

“First
innings totals in South Africa are tricky,” Ashwin told a virtual news
conference.

“It’s
always a good thing to win the toss and bat first and you want to post a good
score, in excess of maybe 260 or 270 which is around about what South Africa do
when they bat first. They usually put on in excess of 250 and then dominated
past test matches, so maybe we are a bit short.

“But
with our entire bowling arsenal available tomorrow — fingers crossed — I
think we can definitely make something out of the score.”

Ashwin was
referring to concerns over Mohammed Siraj, who went off late in the day after
pulling up in his delivery stride with a suspected hamstring injury.

“He’s
had ice on hit but we have to wait and see. I’m hoping that Siraj can come out
and give of his best,” he added.

Ashwin, who
came in to bat at seven, was the second highest scorer in the Indian innings,
hitting 46 runs off 50 balls in an attacking display.

“I
didn’t have any intention of such a strike rate. When I went in, I hit a
straight ball that I hit down the ground and then one I hit down the leg side.
The balls all presented themselves and I responded,” he laughed.

“There
has no attempt to go there and play at that strike rate but sometimes it
happens and sometimes it doesn’t. That’s the beauty of playing the game.”

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