Australian right-arm spinner Nathan Lyon has confessed that despite struggling to cement a place in the limited-over format, a place in the World Cup squad remains his utmost wish.
Lyon, who has mastered the Test cricket to near perfection - picking 343 wickets in 86 Tests - made his ODI debut back in 2012, but was left out of Australia's squad for the 2015 World Cup in favour of Xavier Doherty. Since then, he only has 18 ODIs and 2 T20Is (with a combined 20 wickets) under his belt. Although he has played 3 ODIs this year, he hasn't made the kind of an impact he would have wished for.
"As an Australian cricketer, you always want to play in the big tournaments and I've never had the opportunity to play in a World Cup," Lyon told reporters in Ranchi ahead of the third ODI against India. "It's definitely on my bucket list, something I definitely want to do."
"I'm really enjoying playing white-ball cricket and being back in coloured clothing for Australia. For me it's about enjoying the challenge and try to get better in the shorter format. I'm always about learning every time I go out to bowl. There is added pressure I guess, but none I'm putting on myself. I'm just looking forward to doing my best for the Australian cricket team."
"I still believe bounce is a massive weapon. Having the ability to change up variations, pace and mindset depending on who I'm bowling to... Personally, I'm trying to read the game; what's going to happen in the game and control that moment. Bounce is still an important factor for me, if I can hit the stickers on the bat and hopefully those catches will go to the hand and not into the stands. It's a good challenge and it's something I'm excited about," he added.
Leading to the World Cup, it seems like Lyon's ODI career is finally beginning to take shape and the India tour is the perfect specimen of it. Apart from the ongoing series, Lyon has also been named in Australia's squad for their one-day series against Pakistan; to be held in UAE from March 22.