Brisbane: India vice-captain Rohit Sharma feels "Australia in Australia is always going to be dangerous." "So you have got to be prepared for it. We don't need a few individuals to step up.
We need a whole lot of guys to put their hands up at different occasions and take up
the challenge," he said.
India are yet to win a Test series in Australia. The last Test series here went to the hosts 2-0, but Sharma believes there were a few close games. "Australia is one place where we want to leave our mark and do well as a unit," Rohit said.
"The last time we played a Test series here, although we lost two games, I thought there were a few close games played. Especially at Brisbane, where we gave them a target of 140, which they chased after losing six wickets. So it was a close game," he said.
But "India want to make it count" this time, he added. "There is a real good feeling in the group for all three formats. Different individuals will take places in different formats but the motive of the team is to try and cease all the moments."
The India vice-captain feels that prior experience of playing on pace-friendly pitches will hold the Indians in good stead at the fast Gabba wicket.Two Twenty20 International centuries in 2018 and four overall ? more than anyone else in the world ? have made Sharma an indisputable heavyweight in the format.
With 2207 runs, he is the highest scorer for India in the format and with two half-centuries to go with those two centuries in his last 10 innings, he is in red-hot form.So the three-match T20I series against Australia couldn't have come at a better time for the 31-year-old, especially considering his good show in limited-overs cricket the last time India toured the country, in early 2016.
"Last time when we were here, especially talking about the T20s, we did pretty well here. We won 3-0," Sharma reminded reporters when asked about the challenge of facing Australia, two days out from the first T20I in Brisbane.
"Yes, it is challenging for all our batsmen when we come around here [but] most of the guys have come to Australia before. There are only a couple of guys who have not been here. So they understand the conditions. Of course, their bowling attack will challenge us, whichever format we play. But as a bowling unit, we are prepared to face that challenge," he said.
For Sharma, the bounce at the Gabba will play to his advantage, he suggested."The reason we came a few days early here is to get used to the bounce," he explained. "Brisbane, if I may say so, is probably the fastest pitch in Australia. Whenever we have played here, it has always challenged us. It's not going to be easy, but we have quality in our group.
"When you play in places like Brisbane and Perth, the good bounce allows me to play my game because I have grown up playing on cement pitches back home. So I have always enjoyed coming here," he said.
And so he has ? the last time Sharma turned out at the Gabba against Australia, he scored a century. But Sharma's sojourns to Australia go all the way back to 2007, when he travelled as a teenager.
"I remember my first tour was in 2007 and I had a good time," he recalled. "So I have done well in limited-overs but the challenge is red-ball cricket, which right now I am not thinking of," he said.
For Australia, the preparations leading up to this series haven't been ideal. They lost the three-match one-day international series to South Africa 2-1 and also suffered defeat in the one-off T20I.
"I saw a little bit of that (the T20I). It was a shortened game ? 10 overs a side ? so you cannot make too much out of it," Sharma said, not reading too much into Australia's defeat.(UNI)