Not Thinking Of World Test Championship Final, It's 4 Months Away: Ajinkya Rahane
The Indian team is not looking at the World Test Championship (WTC) final just yet and is focussing on winning the first Test against England here, said India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Wednesday.
India has to beat England by winning at least two Tests to qualify for the World Test Championship final. They need to win 2-0, 2-1, 3-0, 3-1, or 4-0 to enter the final, for which New Zealand has already qualified.
"Right now we are just focussing on this series, this Chennai game [first Test]. The WTC final is still four months from now. Not thinking about that right now. New Zealand played really well. They deserve to be there," said Rahane while speaking to the media.
"What is important that we are playing against England now. It is all about taking one game at a time now. As I said, I have been saying that England is a very good side. We have to play good cricket and we will see what happens after the series," he said.
However, Rahane, who led India to wins in two of the last three Tests in Australia recently after regular captain Virat Kohli returned to India after the first Test to attend the birth of his child, said that every Test is important in the lead-up to the WTC final.
"We know every series, every game is really important for the WTC. What happened in Australia is passed. We are thinking about this series and this game particularly, and taking one game at a time. I don't think we have to think too much about complacency. We know what is our strength and how the Indian wickets behave. We are respecting the England team. They are a very good team. They did really well in Sri Lanka. Basically, we have to play good cricket and back our strengths," Rahane said.
The 32-year-old Mumbai batsman, who has 4,471 runs in 69 Test matches, said that they won't be taking the England team lightly.
"We are in the present at the moment. What we learned from Adelaide is how we came back [to win the series in Australia]. It is all about how we stay in the moment and in the present. So, we respect the England team as well. We will not take them lightly," said Rahane.
"For our squad, it is important we play a good brand of cricket, what we have been playing for the last two-three years, and play as a team as a unit. As I said we are not taking anything for granted. Taking one match at a time."