Back in the Australian ODI fold after more than a year, off-spinner Nathan Lyon says he cannot wait to challenge the Indian batsmen in the fourth one-dayer in Canberra, a venue he knows inside out after being a part of Manuka Oval’s ground staff.
Life has come a full circle for the 28-year-old, whose work as a curator took him from Canberra to Adelaide, and he is looking forward to not only extend his eight-match ODI career but also make a foray on the international Twenty20 stage.
“I have got the opportunity and I will perform. I am very grateful and thankful to the selectors for giving me the opportunity, but I am just looking to go out there and hopefully keep winning games for Australia,” Lyon told reporters.
“I am feeling confident. I have enjoyed my time at the Sydney Sixes. I had some good performances there. As a team we didn’t too so well, but I was pretty happy personally with the way the ball was getting off the hand.
“All I can do is keep going and performing well and looking forward to the challenge all the Indian batsmen are going to lay up ahead in the next couple of one-day games and then on to the T20s,” he added.
On whether he would look to pick the brain of his Indian counterpart R Ashwin, Lyon said he would not let go of any opportunity to learn from a contemporary.
“Oh yeah, definitely. If the opportunity comes up at the end of the T20 series, I would love to sit down with Ashwin, I am definitely up for it. I watch his bowling closely, especially when he is bowling back home. So definitely I am trying to learn off every spinner and if I can keep improving, keep getting better, that’s my goal,” he said.
The former groundsman looks back at his previous job and now his cricketing future with fondness.
“Obviously I have got a good relationship with Manuka Oval. I spent four years here on the ground staff and to come back and play cricket for Australia is going to be pretty special. I have always dreamt of that, so I am looking forward to that opportunity come Wednesday.
“Recently at the SCG there has been a bit of spin and bounce. I dare say it’s going to be a bit different from the WACA or GABBA, but it’s going to be good challenge between bat and ball. I know the curator pretty well and I am sure it’s going to produce a good one-day wicket,” he said about the wicket.
Having already taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series, the hosts travel to Canberra and then Sydney for the final two ODIs on January 20 and 23
respectively. The teams will then head for the three T20 matches starting January 26 in Adelaide.