Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon has called India the best team in the world, while also revealing that he has no interest in watching the World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand.
The much-anticipated summit clash is set to take place in Southampton starting June 18.
India topped the tournament's points table with 72.2% points, followed by New Zealand at 70.0%. Despite winning one more game than New Zealand, Australia missed the second spot by just 0.8%.
It was later revealed that a slow over-rate penalty for the Melbourne Test against India in December had cost the Aussies their berth in the summit clash.
Interacting with cricket.com.au on The Unplayable Podcast, Nathan Lyon also made his pick for the winner of the final.
The 33-year-old labeled Virat Kohli's team the 'best' but argued that if the game is played with the Dukes ball, New Zealand will have a better chance of clinching the trophy.
"Not gonna watch [the WTC final]... I think the best team in the world is India. I was under the impression that the team that finishes on top chooses the ball. So if it was Australia vs New Zealand, we wouldn't have picked the Dukes ball because of the quality of swing bowling in New Zealand. It's little things like that will play a massive role in the game. If they play with the Dukes ball New Zealand will come into play," said Nathan Lyon.
Like the SG ball is endemic to Test matches in India, the Dukes ball is used for most games in England and West Indies. This particular ball is hand stitched and its seam is more profound, thus aiding the pace bowlers.
The playing conditions for the final - including the pitch conditions and the ball type - haven't been released yet by the ICC.
Nathan Lyon reflects on the Test series loss to India
Nathan Lyon also ruefully looked back at the grueling 2-1 series loss to India at home. He attributed the defeat to 'basic' mistakes and crucial catches being dropped.
"Thought about it for ages, especially a couple of weeks after it. It was a great time for me to reflect personally and as a team as well on where we probably could have gone better and what we did well. It was the basics [that went wrong]. If we had held on to our catches, we are talking about a different result. If I am going honest, I know we didn't probably score the amount of runs we wanted but I think our fielding let us down," said Nathan Lyon.
Nathan Lyon also spoke about Aussie skipper Tim Paine's dropped catch off Rishabh Pant's willow in Sydney.
The southpaw was batting at 7 when Paine failed to grab a faint edge off his cut shot. Pant went on to play a blistering knock of 97 which secured an improbable draw for the visitors.
'I've got that one opportunity in my head right now. If Paine had caught that little knick of Pant on 7 in the SCG Test, we are talking totally different result here. That was before lunch on Day 5 and I will back my bowing unit for [finishing off the job from that situation]. I'm not going to blame anyone for dropping catches because I know how much work we put into it. It's part of cricket, unfortunately, so that's one big area for me that I have sit back and reflected a lot on," the 33-year-old added..
Nathan Lyon was nowhere near his best in the series, accounting for just nine wickets at an average of 55.11. But Lyon has made a strong comeback in domestic cricket since then, and is currently plying his trade for New South Wales in the Marsh Cup.