'There is no room for complacency'

'There is no room for complacency'

Although the series may be locked interestingly at 1-1, there is very little doubt on which has been the dominant team. In the two Tests completed, the Indians have been quite good for the Sri Lankans and will be chasing a rare series win in the island nation.

Indian team director Ravi Shastri said there is no room for complacency and his lads will take one day at a time. “Nothing changes from day one, when I spoke to you (the media) before Galle. We play for only one reason, we play to win. We have got ourselves in a position now where if you win this Test match, you win the series which is massive. So there’s no point being shy of going for a win. At the same time, it’s not a case of being overconfident. You got to have the right balance and go and play proper cricket like we did in the last Test match over five days,” he said at the pre-match press conference.

“We take one day at a time. At the moment, you have to focus on the basics and make sure that your focus on each department and do the job, what you did in the last Test match. Then you will get yourself into a good position,” he added.

In the opening Test match, Rohit Sharma batted at No 3 and Ajinkya Rahane at No 5. In the second game, the two Mumbaikars swapped positions, leading to some questions although Rahane slammed a terrific century. Defending the changes, Shastri said the intention behind such a move is to create flexible team. “In this team, no one owns a batting position, any position. It all depends on strategy and we are prepared to be flexible. We will play horses for courses, what the situation, what the opposition demands. And accordingly see what’s the best batting position for each one in the side against that particular outfit and seeing the state of the series.”

Whatever the outcome of the series, Shastri pinned his faith on captain Virat Kohli. “You will see it. It is still early days but you will see it in time. Each captain has his own style. You can see with Virat, like I said before, he is pretty much in your face. He will play to win. And he will want to be positive all the time. There will be intent in anything he does.

“I think that was one of the reasons why MS (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) decided to quit. You know he realised that there are three formats of the game. It is becoming hard for him. But at the same time he knew there was someone ready. Now if you think back, you will know why he made that decision. It was a good decision because it was clear in everyone's mind, across the media, that this is your future captain and let him captain in that last Test match in Australia so that all speculation goes to rest.
Because India weren't playing (a Test) for another six seven months. By announcing his retirement, he made it clear that I believe this guy is ready and he needs a run.”
DH News Service

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