"This is my World Cup final": Nathan Lyon pumped ahead of WTC decider against India
Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon is looking at the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India as a 'World Cup final'. He still feels the disappointment of losing the 2019 ODI World Cup semifinal to England and is thus eagerly waiting for the WTC decider, which starts on June 7 at the Oval.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, the 35-year-old said ahead of the WTC final:
"This is my World Cup final. Being part of the 2019 [ODI] World Cup, where we weren't good enough against England in the semi-final, it did feel the World Cup dream probably slipped away."
Lyon said that he considers it a privilege to be able to represent Australia and that every performance, regardless of the opposition, carries weight.
"To go over to each country and play my role and be able to help contribute to a few wins, it's been amazing, but it's also been a massive learning curve for me and all our squad. Not one [performance] stands out - they are all equal in their own right. Saying that, it means nothing now. I need to make sure I'm playing my role [in the final]."
Lyon is also the highest wicket-taker in this WTC cycle with 83 wickets in 19 matches. He has taken five five-wicket hauls and one ten-for.
"Still feel like I have a lot to offer Australia" - Nathan Lyon
The record-breaking off-spinner also talked about potential retirement, stressing that he only wants to get better and is not thinking about giving up yet.
"The hunger and drive to get better is still there, and I still feel like I have a lot to offer Australia. I've never conquered this game of cricket and never will - feel like I can keep learning and keep getting better. Until that day comes when I can't get any better or the hunger dries. That's when I call stumps," he added.
With the wicket at Oval expected to assist spin as the game progresses, the New South Wales cricketer could be pivotal to Australia's chances in the WTC final.