India’s premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Monday said that “under favourable conditions”, the hosts will be a “hard side to beat” in the ongoing World T20.
India lost to New Zealand on a turner in the opening game but beat Pakistan easily in their next game on a similar surface.
“I think, we are a very good team. On our day and under conditions favourable for us, we are going to be a pretty hard side to beat,” Ashwin told bcci.tv after the team’s six wicket win over Pakistan.
But as exception proves the rule, it can happen with ‘Men In Blue’ too.
“There will be exceptions. We lost a recent game in Pune against Sri Lanka and another one in Nagpur against New Zealand. On both occasions, the opposition read the game better than us,” said Ashwin.
Ashwin, who is known to to be a thinking cricketer, said that even though there was much turn on offer at the Eden gardens, it wasn’t as easy as it seemed.
“(Ravindra) Jadeja and me were hitting a particular length. That is very important for the ball to grip and for the other one to go straight,” said Ashwin, adding that variation of pace is another important aspect for a spinner to taste success on this kind of a turf.
As regards the variations he tries to bring in while bowling, Ashwin said that he varies his pace and trajectory.
“When you vary the trajectory, you can force the batsman to go for a cut or a pull and beat them in the flight,” he added.
Toss played an important factor against Pakistan, feels Ashwin.
“Thankfully, we won the toss and it (the pitch) spun a little which made things easier. The wicket was moist. I for once thought we should bowl first,” the 29-year-old said.
Ashwin explained why he thought bowling first was a wise call.
“What happens on this type of wickets is that you are never sure of what sort of a score you should post. So, it’s important that you get your bowling right, try and contain the opponent within a certain score. Once you do that, it’s easier to bat. You can pace your innings much better on this kind of a wicket when you are chasing,” added the off-spinner, who returned figures of 3-0-12-0, while sharing the new ball with pacer Ashish Nehra.
The lanky spinner added that he always tries to bowl according to the field. “I am used to go for a few runs when I bowl first. My job is to bowl to where my fielders are and, in the process, if I pick up a few wickets, I become a completely different bowler,” said Ashwin.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s ‘go-to’ spinner added that while bowling, India did not have a score in mind to chase. “We were just wondering how to tackle the first five overs. If they got off to a good start, then it would have been difficult to pull the score back,” said Ashwin.
Ashwin admitted that the team was under pressure after going down against New Zealand in the first match of the tournament. “It was important for us to put it behind and come and play a fresh game. That’s exactly what we did,” he said.