'Crucial event for India'

'Crucial event for India'

Team gearing up for the big switch, says Ashwin

With four days to go for the ICC World T20, Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said on Saturday that winning the coveted trophy after a gap of five years would be ''crucial'' for the team after last year’s Test reverses in England and Australia.

 Indian off-spinner R Ashwin speaks to the media in Colombo on Friday. AFP

“We won the 2007 World Cup and after that, the title in this format has eluded us. We didn’t do well in the last two World Cups. Now to put in faith and win this World Cup is crucial for the team, in the sense that we have done a good job but over the last one year we had a tough time in Australia and England. So to do a good job here is important to everybody,” Ashwin said.

Ashwin, who will turn 26 on Monday, said winning the tournament would be a long process.

“Winning this World Cup is a long process. It is a 20-day tournament. We actually get in to the tournament with a couple of practice games and drawing as many positives as possible from those matches is crucial for the team.  Definitely at the back of mind, everybody knows that it is a very crucial tournament for us,” he said.

The Chennai bowler, who returned a rich haul of 18 wickets from the just-concluded two-match Test rubber against New Zealand at home, said it will be a test for the bowlers to switch from the longer format of the game to the shorter one.

“We started (preparing) for the World Cup three-four days back. We have been playing Test cricket and now we have to switch over to this tournament,” Ashwin said.

Pathan pleased

On one of his many comeback trails, India’s left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan says he is pleased with the ‘zip’ he has been getting off the wicket in recent times.
“I’m really happy with my seam position, and I’ve done a lot of work on that. I’m really happy with the way things are going and the zip that I’m getting off the wicket,” Irfan sai.

Irfan, who turned out to be one of India’s most successful bowlers in Sri Lanka early this summer, has often been discussed for lack of pace, but the bowler is not perturbed.

“A lot of people talk about my pace, but I’m generally never bothered. I’m not an out-and-out quick bowler. Everyone has their own gifts and I have my strengths and weaknesses as well.”

“This is what I’ve learnt throughout the year. I love playing, but sometimes you just put too much pressure on yourself by thinking about performance. Eventually you have to come down to the level where you love the game and you just play.”

“I’ve tried to learn a few tricks in terms of thinking out the batsmen. The more experience I have, the better I get,” he said.