Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson insists Australia can still win the second Test against India at Bangalore despite being put to the sword by Sachin Tendulkar on day three.
The man they call “the Little Master” marched the Indians to 5-435 at the close, only 43 runs shy of Australia’s first innings 478.
The tourists have generally fought well in the field during this series but they were a long way short of their best on the third morning at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, allowing the peerless Tendulkar (191no) and his young accomplice Murali Vijay (139) to dominate.
Tendulkar and Vijay added 308 in all, a stand that was India’s third highest against Australia, to exasperate the touring attack and all but extinguish their hopes of levelling the series.
Johnson, however, remained optimistic.
“We’ll be pushing as hard as we can and like I said in Mohali we’re looking to win Test matches,” Johnson said.
“We saw today there were a few that stayed low, and a couple that jumped off the wicket as well, and there was talk of this wicket about how it jumps up as well.
“I guess the sun hasn’t really come out and broken it up for us as much as we’d like, but we’ve still got two days to go and it might keep breaking up more and more. “I’m confident we can go there tomorrow and push really hard to knock them over, then obviously we’ve got to bat really well and then just really fight hard on that last day to win this Test match.”
Johnson (3-89) and Ben Hilfenhaus will need to strike early and often on the fourth morning if this is to become a possibility, with support from debutant Peter George (0-38).
Spinner Nathan Hauritz (0-153) will also be chasing some redemption.