R Ashwin feels India have quality in their rank to adapt to the home conditions during the ODI World later this year, even as the premier off-spinner urged the ICC to take corrective steps for a “dew-free” tournament.
The cricket showpiece is slated in October-November this year] when dew becomes a big factor towards the evening and for the first time, it will be staged completely in India across different venues.
“There’s no point in heading in a direction and going loggerheads with conditions, because conditions cannot be challenged. You need to learn the conditions and adapt. India team has enough in their arsenal to be able to do that,” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.
“However, on a given day if these conditions of dew, boundary sizes, things going here and there cannot be controlled, and that’s the only thing I believe India need to be wary of going into this World Cup... For India, in this regard,are going to be a bit short-changed because of the number of venues we play these games in.
“If they get the right conditions of cricket being competed with skill to skill, this is a team that will be very tough to beat. I certainly believe ICC should give it a thought to have a dew-free 2023 ODI World Cup,” Ashwin said, reiterating his call for an early 11.30am start.
Last week, Ashwin had mooted the idea of an early start, advancing the match by two hours to nullify the dew factor.
He had cited the example of the first ODI against Sri Lanka where India struggled in the death overs while defending a massive 374.
Sri Lanka used the conditions fully to give India a run for their money despite being 206 for 8 and went on to post 306 for 8.
Giving his logic, Ashwin said the boundaries have become shorter by about 10-12 metres to accommodate the LED advertising boards which has now replaced the vinyl sheets.
“Hyderabad can be a big venue but it isn’t because of the sponsorship LED boards. It cuts across all other venues in India, especially the older ones which were not built keeping in mind the T20 era,” he said.
“So, a 70-metre boundary in Hyderabad goes down to 58m depending on whims and fancies of that particular day.
“India’s innate strength is their quality spinners. The quality of spin might not necessarily have deteriorated. But the innate strength can sometimes get lost with the way spin is being played, and how conditions dictate the way spin is being bowled,” Ashwin said.
“I certainly believe the game has come a long way since 2011 when Dhoni lifted the World Cup in India. There has been a lot more exposure for all the foreign cricketers be it English, Australian, South African and New Zealanders. Everybody has come and played IPL and a lot of bilateral series. Their understanding of Indian conditions has definitely grown by leaps and bounds.” He, however, said he has no doubt that India would start as firm favourites in the World Cup.
“Yes, I certainly believe that India’s chance of defending the 2011 home World Cup is really high,” he said, giving stats that they have won 14 matches out of 18 in the format since the 2019 World Cup.
“India’s ODI home record ever since the 2019 World Cup finished is extremely impressive. India have won against every team that has travelled to India in this space, which are West Indies, Australia, England, South Africa, Sri Lanka,” Ashwin said.
“It’s a 78 to 80 percent win record in India. All of these 18 ODIs have happened in different venues every single time (14 venues). If you have to compare the same spree with Australia or England, the venues are pretty stock standard. They play all their Test matches at 4-5 venues, the ODIs are played in 2-3 venues and so they know their venues are the back of their hands.”