Pat Cummins' huge call on Nathan Lyon retirement after never-before-seen cricket feat

The Australian cricket captain believes Nathan Lyon will continue to play until after the 2027 Ashes series.

Australian cricket captain Pat Cummins has backed Nathan Lyon's bid to play through to the 2027 Ashes series after an impressive performance against New Zealand in the first Test. The Black Caps' run of five straight victories at the Basin Reserve ended at the hands of Australia on Sunday, with the visitors winning by 172 runs.

Lyon put in an all-round performance in Wellington, finishing with 10 wickets and chimed in with the bat as well, steadying the ship as a nightwatchman in the second innings with a score of 41. The tweaker also became the first spinner in 18 years to take a 10-wicket haul in New Zealand.

Nathan Lyon pictured with Pat Cummins
Nathan Lyon became the first spinner in almost two decades to take 10-wickets in a Test in New Zealand. Image: Getty

With his 24th five-wicket Test haul and fifth bag of 10 scalps in a single match, Lyon notched a never-before-seen cricket feat. Lyon become the first recorded case of a men's player to achieve those bowling milestones in addition to top-scoring for his team in the second innings.

Nathan Lyon states desire to win an Ashes series in England

The 36-year-old has stated his intent to win an Ashes series in England on numerous occasions despite the next series in the UK taking place in 2027 when he will be 39. Speaking after Australia's first Test triumph, Cummins said he assumed Lyon would make it through to his stated goal.

"I'd love for him to keep going until 2027. The only barrier really is his body," Cummins said. "If he looks after his body and makes sure he's right for whatever it is, 10 Test matches a year, I'd absolutely love it if he's playing until 2027.

"I don't think there's much that's going to get in his way. I already told him - the day he retires I'm definitely giving up the captaincy, because (he) makes my life a hell of a lot easier."

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 03: Nathan Lyon of Australia celebrates after taking the wicket of ravduring day four of the First Test in the series between New Zealand and Australia at Basin Reserve on March 03, 2024 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
Nathan Lyon celebrates a wicket during day four of the first Test against New Zealand. (Hagen Hopkins via Getty Images)

Nathan Lyon could become Australia's all-time leading wicket-taker

Lyon's 10 wickets in the first Test against New Zealand saw his Test wicket tally rise to 527. After taking 4-43 in 8.1 overs in Australia's first innings, he surpassed West Indies legend Courtney Walsh to become the seventh-highest wicket-taker.

Only Muttiah Muralitharan, who leads the way with an extraordinary 800, Shane Warne, James Anderson, Anil Kumble, Stuart Broad and Glenn McGrath have taken more Test scalps than Lyon. To become number seven he will have to surpass the second top wicket-taker in Australian history, McGrath.

After bringing up the 500 mark earlier in the summer, Cummins said he believes Lyon won't just topple the McGrath mark but can realistically surpass the late great Shane Warne and become Australia's all-time top wicket-taker. "I still think you've got, say 40, 50 Test matches (left)," Cummins told Lyon at a joint post-match press conference after bringing up the 500 mark.

"That's four or five years, 10 (Tests) a year. You probably average what? Four a game? That's another couple hundred; 700."

Australia is due to play approximately 35 Tests between now and the end of the 2027 Ashes. If Lyon was to play in every one of those matches and take an average of three wickets a match, he would become Australia's all-time leading wicket-taker.


Most wickets in Test cricket history (as of March 4):

  1. Muttiah Muralitharan (SL) - 800

  2. Shane Warne (AUS) - 708

  3. Jimmy Anderson (ENG) - 698 (still playing)

  4. Anil Kumble (IND) - 619

  5. Stuart Broad (ENG) - 604

  6. Glenn McGrath (AUS) - 563

  7. Nathan Lyon (AUS) - 527 (still playing)

  8. Courtney Walsh (WI) - 516

  9. Ravi Ashwin (IND) - 507 (still playing)

  10. Dale Steyn (SA) - 439

with AAP

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