Melbourne: India's cricket team arrived in Australia full of high expectations for a tour which is likely to be the last trip Down Under for veterans such as Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.
The Indian squad touched down in Melbourne, where the first game of the four Test series will begin on Dec 26, full of confidence after recently defeating arch-rival Pakistan 1-0 in a three-Test contest.
Captain Anil Kumble said winning a series against Australia at home, something India has not achieved in almost 60 years, was the number one prize in world cricket.
"It means a lot. We came pretty close to doing that the last time we came here (in 2003-04)," he told reporters.
"Leading up to the (final) Sydney Test match it was 1-1 and we did extremely well in the last Test series (to draw), so it's going to be very crucial for all of us."
Kumble said conquering Australia at home would be a thrill for himself and fellow veterans Tendulkar, Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Venkatsai Laxman who are unlikely to tour Down Under again.
"Most of the senior cricketers are here on their last tour of Australia, so it's very important we go back victorious," 37-year-old legspinner Kumble said. "It means a lot to all of us in the team and also it means a lot to Indian cricket.
"Not many teams have come here and gone home victorious, so it's a great opportunity for all of us and we look forward to that," he added.
If India pull off a series victory, they will be the first team to do so since the West Indies triumphed in 1991-1992 and they will upset Australia's record of not losing a Test since August 2005.
They will also be battling against their past playing experience in Australia, where they have won just four of 32 Tests.
Tendulkar, who at 34 first played here as a teenager, said he was looking forward to what is likely to be his last chance to score runs in front of Australian crowds.
"I think it will be my last tour, I don't know what's in store but I am just going to come and enjoy my cricket," he said. "Australia has been a fantastic place, we've come here in good shape and are looking forward to this tour."
Australia coach Tim Nielsen said while India was always competitive, they would need something special to beat his team.
"It's all great to talk the talk, the real challenge for both sides is to walk the walk come Boxing Day," he said.
The Indian team for the first Test has not yet been determined, but Kumble said his strong batting line-up would seek to exploit weaknesses in Australian bowling following the retirement of leg-spinner Shane Warne.
"They miss Warnie, somebody like him, so that's something, an area, we can (exploit)," he said.
Australia's 12-man squad for the Melbourne game, announced Tuesday, includes spinner Brad Hogg who joins the team as leg-spinner Stuart MacGill recovers from hand surgery.
Cricket Australia said who takes the field will depend on conditions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Boxing Day.
India will play a three-day match against Victoria state starting Thursday, before the first Test starts. They will also play a triangular one-day series, which will include Sri Lanka.