Will play hard to maintain top Test rank: Ajinkya Rahane
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], Nov 14 (ANI): Ahead of the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka, India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Tuesday said every series was important for the team to maintain the top ranking in Tests. Addressing a press conference here, Rahane said, "For us, if you want to be number one team, every series is important. We want to win each and every match and each and every series. Sri Lanka has been preparing really well and we don't want to take them any lightly." India are hosting a series comprising three Tests, three One Day Internationals (ODIs) and as many Twenty20 Internationals (T20s) against Sri Lanka. The first match of the series will begin from November 16. The two sides had also clashed in July-September in the island nation. The Virat Kohli-led side had whitewashed the Lankans in all three formats of the game. Rahane emphasised that the upcoming series was totally different from the one played in Sri Lanka. The 29-year-old said, "This series is completely different, compared to what we have played in Sri Lanka. Obviously we know the conditions here, but we are not taking Sri Lanka any lightly." Rahane further said the first match was important for the team as it would set the momentum for rest of the series. After playing Sri Lanka here, the Men in Blue will tour South Africa to play three Tests, six ODIs and three T20Is, with the first Test to begin in Cape Town on January 5. Commenting on this, the right-handed batsman said, they were only focusing on the Sri Lanka series at the moment. It is to be noted that the series which is to begin from November 16 will be the islanders' first full series in India in seven years. The last time the two sides clashed with each other in the Test format was in 2009, where the islanders went down 2-0 against India.