Ajinkya Rahane addressed the media in Kolkata ahead of India’s three-match Test series opener. Rahane is the vice-captain of the Indian Test team. India had toured Sri Lanka earlier in the year and had won the three-match Test series 3-0, with two matches being innings victories. India also whitewashed Sri Lanka in the following ODI and T20 series but Rahane insisted that they are not taking the visitors lightly.
Excerpts from the Press Conference:
About the team getting back into Test cricket: Team shape is very good. Everyone knows how to adapt to each format. I don’t think there will be any trouble. Everyone is professional and we had a good practice session yesterday. The first match is always important for the series for momentum. We will have practice sessions today and tomorrow so, the preparations are going pretty well.
About success in Sri Lanka tour: This series is totally different from what we played in Sri Lanka. We know the conditions but we are not taking Sri Lanka lightly though we had a good series there. For us each and every series, every match is important. We are just focusing on this series right now. We just want to play our game instead of thinking about their strategies.
About practicing reverse sweeps in the nets: It is important to improve your game day by day. I always think that if I improve one shot during the net session then I’ll be better off in the match. I am just practicing reverse sweeps, paddle sweeps as options. For me it is important to give 100 per cent in nets.
About focus on the upcoming tour of South Africa: South Africa will be completely different. If we want to be no 1 team, every series is important. We will think about South Africa when we go there. This is an important series for Sri Lanka as well and they have been preparing really well. So we won’t be taking them lightly.
About getting out on 40’s in Ranji Trophy: I’m not too concerned about that. For me I have been batting very well. I got four fifties in a row in the One Day Series (against Australia). Yes I got out on 49 and 45 in the Ranji Trophy but for me, it was important to play as many balls as possible and practice for the Test runs. Sometimes even 40-50 is important for the team so, I am not too worried about scores
About managing workload: It is important to manage yourself as professional athlete. We focus on training sessions and recovery sessions. The team management is taking care of all these aspects. In future we are going to play many matches so recovery is very important.
About the Eden Gardens wicket: We will have to wait for the match to get started. Still two days to go and I am not too sure of the wicket. You just have to wait for the match to start.