Attempting India’s first ever series win Down Under, India pacer Ishant Sharma wants to tread the path with a bit of caution despite the turmoil in the Australian cricket following the suspensions of Steve Smith and David Warner after a ball tampering controversy. But the pacer’s only aim is to win a Test series in Australia.
“We don’t really think about all these things. 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,” Sharma was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Attaching special importance to the tour game, Ishant Sharma said it would help the Indians get acclimatised to the conditions. “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,” Sharma felt.
It’s needless to say that lot will depend on India seamers touring Australia particularly because of the wickets that will be on offer. Indian pace attack has shown both in South Africa and England that it is capable of matching up with the best in the world. But the tag of ‘best’ would put extra pressure, according to Ishant Sharma, who is on his fourth visit to Australia.
“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. 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,” Ishant Sharma said.
Lot of experience
The last time India played in Australia was in 2016-17 and in the series, Ishant Sharma had a few run-ins with the then Aussie skipper Steve Smith. The lanky fast bowler though is confident of putting up an improved show this time.
“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. It is very difficult to say right now (about facial expressions). I don’t know what’s going to happen. When the series starts, we will get to know what faces to make. There is no one key batsman to look out for but our aim is to get everyone all out,” Sharma was quoted by the agency.
Asked about captain Virat Kohli’s passion about the game and several run-ins, Ishant was quick to dismiss that. “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,” the fast bowler said.
The first of the four-Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy will kick off at Adelaide Oval on December 6.