What does Ajinkya Rahane say about Sri Lanka ahead of the first Test?

Ind pract Raj (52)

Ajinkya Rahane , Virat Kohli and Murali Vijay during a practice session at the Eden Gardens. Image Source: XtraTime

Kolkata: Indian cricket team’s vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane thinks that their 9-0 win over Sri Lanka is past and the World No.1 Test side won’t take their opponents lightly. Every match ahead of the South Africa tour is important for the team but they are now focusing on the first Test against the Lankans which is set to start from November 16.

“This series is completely different compared to how we played in Sri Lanka. We know the conditions here but we are not taking Sri Lanka lightly. We had a good series in Sri Lanka. For us every match and series is important before going to South Africa but I feel we are just focussing on this series right now, first game in Calcutta. We just want to think about our game rather than thinking about their combination or their strengths,” Rahane told during a press-conference at the Eden Gardens.

They played back to back limited overs series against Australia and New Zealand at home. According to Rahane the team has no problem to adopt with the longer format of the game.

“Everyone knows how to adapt and adjust to all the formats. I don’t think we will have any problem. All the players are professionals. I don’t think will have problem in adjustment. The first Test here is important to get the momentum.”

The star middle order batsman was seen practicing a lot of sweep shots during India’s practice session on Monday.

“It’s important to improve your game everyday and evolve when you are practising at the nets. I just want to improve. I think if I improve one shot in the nets, I will be better off in the game. If an opportunity comes in the game, I’m 100 per cent confident of playing a particular shot. So, practising sweep, reverse sweep and paddle sweep just as options.

“I’m comfortable playing those shots. For me it’s important to give 100 per cent at the nets. I want to do that five-six times at the nets and if I’m comfortable and confident I will play that shot in the game,” said Rahane.

Rahane got out for 49 and 45 in his last two Ranji matches against Odisha and Baroda respectively, but he was “not too concerned” about that.

“I’m batting really well. I have four 50s in a row,” he said referring to his knocks against Australia in the ODI series in September-October.

“Yes I got out on 45 and 49 in Ranji Trophy but for me it was important to play as many balls as possible and get the practice for this Test series. Four fifties also matter a lot for the team. In the last (Ranji) game for us in Mumbai at one point it was crucial. I just wanted to play as many balls as possible without being worried about the scores.”

Asked if Eden wicket will be a green top, he said: “Let’s wait for the match to start. We still have two days to go. We have to wait. I’ve not seen the wicket.”

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