Sri Lanka inspect pitch on a rest day

Sergio Conner
November 14, 2017

Kolkata: India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane today said their 9-0 clean sweep in Sri Lanka will have no bearing in the return series and they remain focussed on maintaining the No. 1 spot in Tests. "Winning the first Test match is very important.it gives you the momentum in the series".

In 2007, in a Test match at Ahemdabad, Lanka side had come close to winning a match against India, where they took a first innings lead of 300 runs.

Sri Lanka lost all nine matches - three Tests, five ODIs and a T20I - as they were humiliated at home by Virat Kohli's tourists from late July to September.

However, following a poor showing at an ODI series against New Zealand in Sri Lanka, Mathews stood down from the post across formats, with many - including former Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga - believing that Mathews had been made a scapegoat for what had been the collective failure of the team.

India swept Sri Lanka across all formats in a full series in the island nation.

"Every test is a challenge, and we will take it match by match, as a team and as individuals". We are just focusing on this series right now. "We respect Sri Lanka and we just want to play our game, focus on our strengths rather than thinking about their combination or their strategies", he said.

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Other India batsmen in the top 10 include Lokesh Rahul (eighth) and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (ninth), while batsmen outside the top-20 are Shikhar Dhawan (30th), Murali Vijay (36th) and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (47th).

Kohli was seen having a long pitch-side conversation with local curator Sujan Mukherjee. "I am sure preparation will be good before the first Test".

About practicing reverse sweeps in the nets: It is important to improve your game day by day. When asked about the reason behind that, he said, "I always think that if I improve one shot in the net session I will be better off in the game". I am just practicing reverse sweeps, paddle sweeps as options. For us, if we want to be the number one team, every series is important and we want to win each and every match and each and every series.

"Once this gets over, we will worry about South Africa and the challenge it brings". And when all-rounder Hardik Pandya was pulled out of the Test series to negate any possibility of a major injury concern, the issue once again gained attention.

About managing workload: It is important to manage yourself as professional athlete. "There will be bounce and it will be a sporting track", Ganguly told reporters after inspecting the pitch during India's training session.

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