The Three Lions take on Moldova in Chisinau in their opening Group H fixture of their 2014 qualification campaign and Tottenham’s Defoe is looking to pounce on the opportunity as his country’s main man in the absence of Wayne Rooney and Andy Carroll (thigh and hamstring injuries respectively).
"I think you can say that," said Defoe at a press conference when asked if he is ready to step up.
"But I think there is more responsibility on the whole squad.
"We don't know what the team is going to be yet, so it is a just a case of training well, working hard and, if selected, you have got to grab it with both hands and make sure you perform."
He added: "Everyone wants to start games. It is not easy when you come on as a sub to get straight into the game. It is quite difficult.
"When you start the game, you get your full rhythm, it's better."