New Zealand deserve to be in WTC final, India focused on England series: Ajinkya Rahane

Written By: Subhayan Chakraborty WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Feb 03, 2021, 08:57 PM(IST)

A file photo of Ajinkya Rahane. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Team India's Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Wednesday congratulated New Zealand for becoming the first team to qualify for the final of ICC World Test Championship, to be held on June 18-22 in England. Rahane while lauding New Zealand asserted that India shouldn't get complacent thinking about the WTC final and added that focus of the Indian team remains on the impending England series. 

Team India's Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Wednesday congratulated New Zealand for becoming the first team to qualify for the final of ICC World Test Championship, to be held on June 18-22 in England. Rahane while lauding New Zealand asserted that India shouldn't get complacent thinking about the WTC final and added that focus of the Indian team remains on the impending England series. 

“It (WTC final) is still four months away. We are focused on the England series,” Rahane said at a virtual media interaction on Wednesday ahead of India's first Test against England at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.  

After the postponement of the Test series between South Africa and Australia, New Zealand became the first team to qualify for the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship. While Australia and England are still in contention to feature in the summit clash, India's domination at home means the Virat Kohli-led outfit stands favourite to qualify for the final. 

“New Zealand has been doing well and deserve to be there [in the final]. We know every series, every game is important in this WTC.  

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“The series win in Australia was special but that's in the past. We are taking it one match at a time. We respect the England team. They did well in Sri Lanka, so we have to back our strengths and play good cricket as a unit." 

Rahane's captaincy was one of the biggest talking points from India's historic success against Australia as the 32-year-old led the Indian side to perfection. However, Virat Kohli is now back with the squad and has taken over the charge as the leader of the ship.  

"He (Kohli) had to return home from Australia for personal reasons. That's why I became the skipper. I am really happy that he is back with us," Rahane said.  

“My job is to help Virat. A captain has too many things on his mind. As vice-captain, you have to visualise a situation, think about what can happen in the game, and if the captain asks you for suggestions, you should be ready. My job is quite easy. I take a backseat as vice-captain." 

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When asked about team combination for the Chennai Test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, Rahane said they will take a call after the practice session on the eve of the match. 

 “We will take a call on the Playing XI after our practice session tomorrow.” 

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