Stating that the upcoming four-match tussle is India's “biggest opportunity” to win a maiden Test series in Australia, premier fast bowler Ishant Sharma has said that the visitors are geared for the stiff challenge, but cleared that the team isn't taking the hosts lightly at all.
Ahead of Virat Kohli led side's standalone four-day encounter against Cricket Australia XI at the Sydney Cricket Ground from Wednesday, November 28, Ishant, the most experienced member of the side, reiterated that India wants to make this opportunity count and rewrite history books.
"We don’t really think about all these things," Ishant said, as per PTI, when asked whether India is more confident because Australia are bereft of its key match-winnners - Steve Smith and David Warner, "It depends on a given day. In cricket whoever is playing for the country is good enough. Till the time we get the results, we don’t take anything lightly."
"We are pretty motivated. The aim right now is to win the series and that is what everyone is focussing on. We don’t even think of personal performances, just one aim, to win a series in Australia."
"The tour game is serious because it will set the tone for us. You get to know the conditions because you are playing here after a long time. So you can get into the groove and get used to the conditions," he added.
Having toured down under previously on three occasions for Tests in 2007-08, 2011-2012 and 2014-2015 and gearing up for this one aged 30, Ishant, who has now played 87 games for the country and feels that this could be the right-armer's last tour of Australia, wants to give it his all.
"Pressure is there but I think it is a great opportunity as well. We have a healthy competition in the pace attack. If you are not doing well, you can be left sitting out and watching the game," the earnest, dedicated fast bowler further said, “I think it’s a great opportunity to do well in any conditions. We did well on the last two tours of South Africa and England."
"We are not even thinking like we have a pressure situation. Instead, we always think that we have an opportunity to do well. I have played 11 years now so I don’t need to think about what I need to do well. I’m not that kind of person who thinks about what happened in the past. I’m looking forward and I’m going to do well on this tour as well."
"Everyone is passionate because we are always motivated to win a series, not just in Australia but when we played in South Africa and England too, we were pretty motivated to win the series. That’s the biggest opportunity for us right now. We always have a good balance of players in our side, who can do great things for us, so it’s very promising," he signed off.
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy kickstarts with the first Test at Adelaide on Thursday, December 6.