Hyderabad, Aug 21: India's lanky pacer Ishant Sharma who returned to the Test side after recovering from an ankle injury, feels the series against New Zealand is crucial for him and wants to start fresh.
Ishant Sharma, who last represented India in January against Australia in Adelaide, following which he underwent a much needed ankle surgery which kept him out of action for months together making him unavailable for the cash-rich Indian Premier League in April-May 2012.
"It is a crucial series for me. I have worked really hard on my fitness and the break has helped tremendously. When you are on tour, you tend to get lazy with your training, you don't get much time to prepare," Sharma told IANS.
The lanky pacer is the most experienced pacer after Zaheer Khan as the team and selectors have huge expectations, it remains to be seen if the pacer can perform to his potential and fulfil their expectations.
While Ishant also admitted that it was difficult for bowlers in sub-continent conditions, but said he is gearing up for the new season.
"As I said, I feel fully fit and have been bowling 10 to 12 overs a day at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). I followed a 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule there and spent a lot of time in the gym and with the physios. I hope it pays off in the series and I am able to take wickets for India," said Ishant.
Ishant who was picked only for the Test series against New Zealand said he wanted to represent India in all the three formats and also felt he should have been included in the squad for the T20 World Cup.
"I would be lying if I say I am happy playing just Test matches. I love to represent India in all formats and I am looking forward for a return with a good show in the New Zealand series," said Ishant,
Ishant last played a ODI in June 2011 while his last T20 appearance was in Dec 2009.
Ishant also felt that New Zealand has the ability to bounce back though they faield miserably against West Indies recently.
"You can't take a team like New Zealand lightly. They have a habit of surprising and I am expecting a tough fight from them," he added.