The Indian cricket team made a positive start to its tour of Australia, sharing the three-T20I series 1-1 with the hosts. Virat Kohli and co. went close in the first match, were unlucky as rain dashed their hopes of a for-sure win in the second before winning a closely contested third match.
Now, they have a 10-day break before the all-important and much-awaited Test series, which begins on December 6. The four-match Test series has been billed as the real encounter between the teams, and it will represent the progress of the Indian team, especially in overseas conditions
Ahead of the practice game against Cricket Australia XI, Indian spearhead Ishant Sharma is bracing up for the "biggest opportunity" to win a maiden Test series Down Under, but he also cautioned that Australia is good enough to cause problems, regardless of the turmoil in its cricket.
"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.
Interestingly, Ishant is one of the few experienced campaigners in the India setup who has played a Test series previously on Australian soil. However. India has never managed a Test series triumph Down Under, and Ishant Sharma is all geared up to set the record straight when the four-match Test series gets underway on December 6.
"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," said Sharma.
The hosts will be without the services of Steven Smith and David Warner, both serving their respective one-year ban for their role in ball tampering saga. Their absence has proved costly for the national team, who have suffered humiliating defeats in the past few months.
However. the senior Indian bowler didn't pick any names to target in the current Australian batting line-up, but conceded that Australia are a strong unit and the Men in Blue won't take them lightly.
"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."