Very often, it has become a cliched statement in cricket: understand the conditions well before the start of a tournament. Even though the game has changed over the years, this cliched statement has held its place. India have hit the Australian shore, well ahead of their opener against Pakistan in Melbourne.
In fact, India are also playing a two-match warm-up series against Western Australia prior to the start of the tournament. Indian all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin emphasised on the importance of that, stating that reading conditions before the start of the tournament is a must.
On criticism about bowlers getting hit, the off-spinner reiterated that the boundary dimensions in the sub-continent are starkly different from the ones in Australia. So, he added that it would be unfair to criticise the bowlers without much context.
"I think we can get caught up in what happens in T20 games and bilateral series back home. It's only fair to say that the bowlers are getting hit around the park. But we also need to understand the boundaries are very close to the 30-yard circle in India,” Ashwin told BCCI.tv
"When we come to Australia the boundaries are far bigger, gives a bit of a licence for the bowlers to work with. It's also very important to understand these conditions, the lengths we have to bowl and also be brave enough to take those 50-50 options in these places. It's a completely new experience and just start afresh and start the book completely new," he added.
Ashwin also insisted that India have hardly played Australia at this time of the year, and very often, their clashes have come around the festive season – December and January – where conditions are slightly different. Given that it is the most important competition of the year, the off-spinner reiterated that the Men in Blue don’t want to leave any preparations undone.
"I think it's pretty straightforward, two weeks to go before an ICC event and the T20 World Cup is a marquee event, and I think we are taking it as seriously as we can. We are here to acclimatise because this is one time of the year we've never been in Australia, we've never played at this time of the year, so it's important that we got in here and got used to the pace and bounce. There are guys who are new to the team so it will be a great time for them to acclimatise," Ashwin added.
Whilst teams like West Indies and England are practising in the conditions against the World Champions, Australia, Ashwin reckons that it is important for India to put the miles very early on before the tournament hits the warm-up stage. He also insisted that watching these clashes, understanding the nuances makes it extremely important prior to the big event.
"Whatever said and done, how many ever times on tour to countries like Australia and England, it is very important that you put in those miles very early on.
"By the time you are hitting the first game we need to be up and running and also be completely sure about what the conditions are going to be like. Even watching games like yesterday (Australia vs England) are going to be very important to understand how the game is being played in this part of the world," he added.