[caption id="attachment_781781" align="alignnone" width="628"]<a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/ashwin3.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-781781" alt="ravichandran ashwin" src="https://www.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/ashwin3.jpg" width="628" height="355" /></a> Ravichandran Ashwin (AFP Photo)[/caption] <p></p> <p></p>Ace spinner <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/players/ravichandran-ashwin/">Ravichandran Ashwin</a> remains an injury doubt for the third Test against Australia, India coach <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/players/ravi-shastri/">Ravi Shastri</a> said Sunday as he demanded his opening batsmen step up to ease pressure on <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/players/virat-kohli/">Virat Kohli</a>. <p></p> <p></p><strong>ALSO READ: <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/news/india-vs-australia-3rd-test-sanjay-manjrekar-backs-mayank-agarwal-to-open-at-mcg-781519">Manjrekar backs Agarwal to open at MCG</a></strong> <p></p> <p></p>Ashwin was sidelined with an abdominal strain for the second Test in Perth and was sorely missed as Australia, led by off-spinner Nathan Lyon, won by 146 runs to level the series 1-1. <p></p> <p></p>Shastri revealed Ashwin is racing the clock to be ready for the crunch Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, where the stakes are high in the four-Test series. <p></p> <p></p><strong>ALSO READ: <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/articles/india-vs-australia-3rd-test-melbourne-the-reverberating-roar-of-nathan-lyon-781576">The reverberating roar of Nathan Lyon</a></strong> <p></p> <p></p>"As far as Ashwin is concerned, we are going to take a look and evaluate over the next 48 hours," Shastri said. <p></p> <p></p>Left-arm off-spinning all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is also carrying a niggle, but experienced batsman Rohit Sharma, who also missed Perth after hurting his lower back, is fit again. <p></p> <p></p>"He has made a very good improvement but then again we have got to see how he pulls up tomorrow. But he looks good as of today," said Shastri. <p></p> <p></p>India go into the Melbourne showdown with Kohli and number three Cheteshwar Pujara is fine form, effectively carrying their team during the Adelaide and Perth games. <p></p> <p></p>But the opening pair of KL Rahul and Murali Vijay have struggled for runs and Shastri said that needed to change. <p></p> <p></p>"It's a big concern," he said when asked about the failure of the openers to get a big score. <p></p> <p></p>"It's obvious and that responsibility and accountability has to be taken by the top order. <p></p> <p></p>"They've got the experience, they've got the exposure over these last few years to get out there and deliver. It's about how strong you are in the mind." <p></p> <p></p>There is no guarantee that Rahul and Vijay will retain their places with in-form Mayank Agarwal called up to the squad as a replacement for injured young opener Prithvi Shaw, who has been ruled out of the series. <p></p> <p></p>Superstar captain Kohli scored a battling century in Perth but he came under criticism for his sledging and heated exchanges with Australian counterpart Tim Paine. <p></p> <p></p>His animated wicket celebrations were also frowned upon, but Shastri said he didn't have a problem with his skipper. <p></p> <p></p>"What's wrong with his behaviour? As far as we are concerned, he is an absolute gentleman," he said. <p></p> <p></p>Shastri also denied India's morale had taken a hit by losing in Perth after their tense victory in Adelaide -- their first Test win on Australian soil in a decade. <p></p> <p></p>"Absolutely not. 1-1 in a series in Australia and we know we had our chances in Perth as well. They're ready," he said. <p></p> <p></p>"It's not often that we've been in a position where we've won one (on an overseas tour). It's 1-1. The boys know what they can do, what they're capable of and the potential that lies ahead."