India’s vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on November 14 said that they will not take Sri Lankans lightly for the upcoming Test series which is scheduled to start from November 16 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Interestingly, Sri Lankans have never won a Test match in India. Both the teams have so far played 17 Test matches this year. While India have won 10, Sri Lanka drew 7 matches though are yet to score a win.
Earlier, Chandimal and Co were defeated 3-0 in Tests by India in their own backyard in July this year.
While addressing the press conference ahead of the first Test match, Ajinkya Rahane said,
This series is completely different as compared to what we played in Sri Lanka. Obviously, we know the conditions but we are not Sri Lankans lightly thought we had a good series against them in July this year.
Ajinkya Rahane, who is the frontrunner for the opening slot, further said,
For us every match, every series is important before going to South Africa. We respect Sri Lankans and we just want to focus on our game rather than of focusing on their strength and strategies.
During the practice session on November 13, several Indian batsmen like Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and even the skipper Virat Kohli were found facing short balls and practising the art of reverse sweep against spinners.
On being quizzed about this strategy, Rahane said,
It’s important to improve your game day by day. When you are practising in the nets it is important to evolve. I am just practising, I always think if I improve one shot in the net session then if the opportunity comes in a game, I am 100 percent confident that I can pull up this shot.
On being asked about the upcoming South Africa series, Rahane said,
We’ll talk about then, currently we are focusing on Sri Lankans.
On his place in the playing XI, Rahane said that he was not too concerned about it.
I am not too concerned about it. The matter for me is that I am batting really well. I’ve got 4 fifties in a row in ODI series. Yes, I got out on 45 and 49 in Ranji Trophy. But 40 odd runs really matters a lot sometimes.
The first Test match is scheduled to start at 9:00 PM IST. The toss would take place at 8:30 PM.
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 14, 2017
Apart from three Tests, Sri Lanka will play three One Day Internationals and as many T20Is.