Cardiff: What was expected to be a tight contest, turned out to be a fight between David and Goliath. The massive 243-run win against Australia in a practice match here on Tuesday may look impressive on paper, but Team India is still a worried lot.
Speaking to reporters at the National Cricket Centre at Swalec Stadium, Ashwin revealed coach Duncan Fletcher's forehead is creased because in successive games, the top order failed to fire. The Indian off-spinner said coach Duncan Fletcher "is addressing the issue, but the players will have to deliver on the field."
"Fletcher has got vast experience of English conditions. He has been passing knowledge to the team but it is up to us to take it forward," Ashwin told reporters, adding: "He (Fletcher) has told our batsmen runs will come if you stay at the wicket."
Like the first warm-up game against Sri Lanka in Edgbaston on Saturday, India suffered a similar top-order collapse against Australia. India were struggling at 55 for five in the 17th over till skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (91) and Dinesh Karthik rescued the innings with a fabulous 211-run sixth wicket stand.
Karthik (146 not out) scored back-to-back centuries and never looked in trouble during his 140-ball stay. "I hope he carries this purple patch wherever he goes," Ashwin said about his Tamil Nadu colleague.
Ashwin expressed a word of caution saying the big wins in warm-up games count for nothing. "It's for us to do best of what we can and get as much as a team. On Thursday (when India play South Africa in the Champions Trophy opener here), it will be a fresh start," Ashwin said.
Australia's stand-in skipper George Bailey termed the massive defeat as "disappointing." Australia were bowled out for a paltry 65 in 23.3 overs and presented India a victory on the platter. Bailey was not amused.
"There were no gremlins in the wicket and this defeat is a good lesson for us. We just need to be more patient," Bailey said, adding Michael Clarke's timely recovery for the tournament will be crucial to the team's success in the Champions Trophy. Australia are the defending champions.