Sharma excited at leading young Indian pace attack

"Obviously it's a great feeling when you see yourself as the senior bowler in the team," said Sharma, who is donning the mantle with senior pro Zaheer Khan sitting out with an injury, on the eve of the second Test match against the West Indies at the Eden Gardens beginning Monday.

Asked to react to the Indian team having three pacers bowling at 90 miles-plus, Sharma said: "Obviously it's a good thing. Everyone used to say earlier that India cannot produce pace bowlers."

Besides Sharma, India's young pacers Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron generate good speed. Aaron did not play in the first Test at Ferozeshah Kotla, Delhi. Sharma, however, said the Indians were missing the experience of Zaheer. "The kind of bowler Zak is, we obviously miss him. But then this is part and parcel of the game. And when somebody is injured someone else has to play the role of a senior. You have to give your best shot."

Asked about the pitch, Sharma said: "I can't say. I never see the pitch. Not even in the last 39 Test matches that I have played." Ishant, who had picked up a ligament injury to his left ankle during the Third Test against England at Edgbaston and missed the subsequent limited overs series, said he was completely fit.

"There is no risk about it. I have been training a lot at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). I am fit.  Actually I don't need any surgery now." Sharma did not think the team will have any difficulty in adjusting to the fast and bouncy wickets in the coming tour to Australia after playing on the low and slow wickets at home. "We will get two practice games (in Australia) to get used to the wickets and conditions there. So there will be no problem."

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