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Ravi Shastri, Kohli stress on keeping No.1 Test spot

After joining forces amid various controversies, Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli and newly-appointed head coach Ravi Shastri on Thursday stressed on the importance of maintaining consistency and working towards holding on to the No.1 Test rank. Shastri, who returned to the national team as the head coach, a year after being snubbed as the team director, on Thursday said that his and the team's main focus will be on maintaining India's status as the top Test playing nation. "I came to Sri Lanka as an 18-year-old kid as part of the U-19 team, my first stint as a broadcaster was here in 1992. My first stint as coach also happens to be in Sri Lanka," Shastri recalled.

"They have a great track record playing at home, it is one of the best teams at home if not the best," Shastri told reporters ahead of the two-day practice match, starting on Friday at Moratuwa.
"We will not take them for granted and try to maintain consistency and remain No.1 in Tests. Above all, we need to look to improve and learn new things," he added. Asked about his role in the dressing room, the former India all-rounder said: "My role will be to get the players in a frame of mind that they go out there and play at their optimum level. It sounds like a simple task but lot goes on behind the scenes." Kohli, who was at the centre of the controversy surrounding Anil Kumble's exit as the head coach, said it was the last tour in 2015 when the team gelled together as a unit to clinch the series 2-1 and thereafter carried on the momentum to reach the top spot in the five-day format. "The last tour taught us how to get together as a unit. After losing that first Test at Galle, we came together and this is where it all began for us as we went on to become the No.1 side in the world," he said.

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