Mohali:With India stretching their lead to 301 with all 10 wickets in hand, Australia maybe down but they are surely not out, asserted all-rounder Shane Watson.
Watson top-scored with a sedate 78 as Australia folded for 268 in their first essay, even though India, having piled in 469 in their first innings, didn't enforce follow-on.
With the pitch wearing fast and Indian spinners, especially debutant Amit Mishra, looking in ominous form, things may not look rosy but Watson vowed Australia would not concede an inch without putting up a fight.
"We are still in the game," the optimist in Watson said after the day's play.
"We need to play two days of good cricket and see how it goes. Of course they are in a better position but we are never down and out till the game is over," Watson said.
Watson went on to claim that even if India set them a target of 450 with five sessions left, Australia would go for a win, instead of trying to save the match.
"I think we can still win chasing a target like that. If we bat well, we can chase down any target. The ball would turn and reverse as well, which means the job won't be easy. But as I said we can chase down anything if we bat well," he said.
"We are not happy with our performance as a bowling unit. We didn't get what we want and the Indian openers scored freely (in the second innings). We have to bat really well in the second innings," Watson added.
Looking back at the match, the strapping blond admitted Australia were struggling against the reverse swing generated by the Indian pacers, especially Zaheer Khan, while Amit Mishra also proved handy.
"I'm coming here for the first time as a Test player, so are some of my teammates. We are learning a lot. In Bangalore, we got a taste of the reverse swing and it was a great challenge. I think my knock today is one of the most toughest knocks," Watson said, all candour.
"Mishra also bowled really well. He is getting the ball turn really big even when he was not pitching it on the rough. I have seen him little bit in the Indian Premier League and knew he can turn it big.
"We didn't play him well in the first innings and have to play him better. Hope he does not get anymore wicket in the second innings," he quipped.
On the pitch, Watson said, "It's a beautiful pitch to bat on and the curator has done a great job, I must say. It's turning a bit now and would turn bit more probably and there is also some reverse swing. At times, I guess it would be tough to score freely," he added.
Watson and Brett Lee on Sunday put record-equalling 73 runs for the eighth wicket during which, Watson admitted, there were some "friendly banters" but insisted it never went out of control.
"I think we had some extremely friendly banters. Me and Lee, we both were smiling. I guess it will always be there. It was never getting out of control and without that. I guess cricket would become dull and boring," he said.