IND vs ENG: India not thinking about World Test Championship final yet, says Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane commended New Zealand's performance while emphasising that India must not get complacent about its chances at home, after the win Down Under.

Ajinkya Rahane remained non-committal about the team combination for the first Test that gets underway at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai from Friday.   -  AP

India's Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Wednesday said the team isn't thinking about the World Test Championship (WTC) final at Lord's just yet. “It is still four months away. We are focused on the England series,” Rahane said at a virtual media interaction.

New Zealand has qualified for the WTC final, set to be played in June this year, after Australia's tour of South Africa was postponed indefinitely due to health concerns. India and England are both in contention for a berth at the showpiece event. A 2-0, 3-0, 3-1 win margin will suffice for India while England needs to win at least three matches to make the cut.

READ: India-England first Test to be played behind closed doors

Rahane commended New Zealand's performance while emphasising that India must not get complacent about its chances at home, especially after the historic win Down Under.

“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.

“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 astute captaincy during India's triumph in Australia earned him plaudits but the Indian Test No. 5 once again made it clear that Virat Kohli remains the leader of the side. "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.

READ: Archer backs ECB's resting and rotating policy

“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."

Rahane remained non-committal about the team combination for the first Test that gets underway at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai from Friday. “We will take a call on the Playing XI after our practice session tomorrow.”