Colombo: With less than a week to go for the ICC World Twenty20, India offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Friday said that winning the coveted trophy after a gap of five years would be "critical" for the team after last year's Test reverses in England and Australia.
"We won the 2007 [Twenty20] World Cup and then 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 critical for the team in the sense that we have done a good job, but over the last one year, we had tough time in Australia and England. To resurrect that and actually to do a good job here is important to everybody," Ashwin said.
Ashwin, who will turn 26 on Monday, said that winning the tournament would be a long process. He added that the team is trying to acclimatise to the conditions and is focussed to draw maximum number of positives during its stay in the island nation.
India start their campaign against Afghanistan on September 19.
"Winning this World Cup is a long process. It is a 20-day long tournament and it is going to be another five-six days before the tournament begins. We actually get into the tournament with a couple of practice games and drawing as many positives as possible is very crucial for the team... So from there we will take it on. Definitely at the back of mind everybody knows that it is a very crucial tournament for us," he said.
The Chennai lad, who returned with 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 have 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. The good thing is that we have got a week's time in Sri Lanka to prepare for the World Cup.
"It is a mind switch-over and physical switch-over for the bowlers in terms of lengths, lines and the amount of variations they have to bring into the game. This particular preparation would be ideal for us," Ashwin said.
Meanwhile, left-arm medium pacer Irfan Pathan was upbeat ahead of their practice game against Pakistan September 17. "We are going to look forward to win that game. We are playing Pakistan after a long time, especially I am playing against them after a long time. Since three years I have not played against them. Really looking forward to play against Pakistan and perform well," Pathan said.