Team India’s newly appointed head coach Ravi Shastri has claimed that the team is not going to take Sri Lanka for granted when they visit for the upcoming series. He also showed confidence on the blue brigade and said that the motivation to stay no.1 in Test rankings would be enough for players.
After the successful home season under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, the Indian cricket team is eagerly waiting to face Sri Lanka on their soil. With 123 ratings, team India is on the top of the ICC test rankings. On the other hand, Sri Lanka is on the seventh position with 92 ratings. It would, however, be suicidal to underestimate them as Australia found much to their chagrin last year.
“If you look at their track record at home, it is as good as any side in world cricket, if not right up with the best,” Shastri told reporters in Colombo as reported by The Indian Express.
Shastri felt that the inspiration to continue as a no. 1 in Test rankings would be enough for the players. But, everything is not going well in Sri Lanka cricket as captain Angelo Matthews stepped down after they lost the ODI series 3-2 to Zimbabwe. Dinesh Chandimal, who was named Sri Lanka’s new Test skipper, has been ruled out of the Galle Test against India, after being admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. Earlier, their sports minister had raised doubts over his own players and stated that he is willing to order a probe into the 2011 World Cup final where they lost to India. Shastri, though, would be hoping that the focus stays on cricket for the near future.
“As the Indian team we are not going to take them lightly, we are not going to take things for granted. We’d like to be consistent so we’ll keep that No.1 position in place, and above all look to improve. If you don’t look to improve there is no point in playing.”
India last visited Sri Lanka in 2015 when they won the series by 2-1. The first match was played in Galle where Sri Lanka registered a victory by 63 runs, but India came back strongly to win the series.
“That particular series in Sri Lanka is the series that gave us belief. After being 1-0 (down) in the series the victories were hard fought,” said Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
“What it taught us was to come together and come closer as a team and understand our strengths and weaknesses. After losing that test in Galle, which was quite a dent for us mentally, the way the team came together was iconic.”
In this tour, India will play a three-match Test series that will be followed by a five-match ODI series and a single T20I.