Sydney, Australia: After level-pegging the three-match Twenty20 International series against Australia, Indian pacer Ishant Sharma on Tuesday stated that his side is taking the tour very seriously ahead of the four-Test match series, starting December 6.
"The tour game is pretty serious for us because you can set a tone for the series. You get to know the conditions because you are playing here after a long time. It's an important game for everyone," Sharma told reporters.
When quizzed about having better batting and bowling line-up as compared to the Australian team, which doesn't include former skipper Steve Smith and David Warner over the ball-tampering scandal, Sharma said: "We don't really think about all these things but it always depends on a given day. In cricket whoever is playing for the country is good enough that's why they are representing the country. We don't take anyone lightly, we just go out and play."
India's squad, besides Sharma, has four other pace bowlers - Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav. When asked about who will make it to the playing XI, Sharma said, "It is a great opportunity for everyone as you have a healthy competition in the team.
"Lots of fast bowlers are coming up. If you are not doing well, you can sit behind and watch the game. The biggest thing for us right now is to win the Test series. That is what everybody is focusing on. We're not even thinking about individual performances. We have just one aim and that is to win a series in Australia," Sharma added.
When pressed further if the pacers are targeting any particular Australian batsman, Sharma said, "We are not focusing on any particular batsman. We want to get everyone out."
The fast bowler, who is on his fourth Test tour of Australia since 2007-08, also thanked the fans who came out to support the 'Men in Blue' during the recently-concluded three-match T20I series.
"You don't feel like you're touring abroad because you see so many Indian fans watching the game and cheering you. I think it's a tremendous feeling for every team member," Sharma concluded.
India will take on Cricket Australia XI in a four-day match from November 28 to December 1 in Sydney before starting their long tour of the four-Test match series beginning on December 6 in Adelaide.