Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon (Source_Getty Images)

Cummins makes bold statement on Test future after Nathan Lyon’s heroic performance: Australian cricket captain Pat Cummins has full confidence in the off-spinner’s ability to perform brilliantly regardless of his age. In Australia’s 172-run Test victory against New Zealand in Wellington, the 36-year-old Lyon was the major architect, claiming 10 wickets and leading the way with 41 runs in the second innings.

The day Lyon announced his retirement from international cricket, Cummins had even said that he would relinquish the captaincy.

“The only barrier really is his body, so if he looks after his body and makes sure he’s right for 10 Test matches a year, or whatever it is, I’d absolutely love him to play until 2027,” Cummins said in the post-match press conference after the victory on Sunday.

“And I don’t think there’s much that’s going to get in his way.

“I’ve already told him the day he retires I’m definitely giving up the captaincy because it makes my life a lot easier,” he added.

Lyon has expressed his desire to continue playing at Test level until 2027, with the aim of joining an Ashes-winning tour to the UK. His plans were disrupted by a serious calf injury last year, which cut his campaign short.

This was Lyon’s first five-wicket haul in an innings since his return from injury. His poor performance in the match helped him overtake Courtney Walsh (519), who has 527 wickets, in the list of most Test wickets.

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“It’s a captain’s dream really,” Cummins said today.

“There’s a real sense of calm out there when you know you’ve got someone that good on a wicket that’s giving him a little bit of help.

“It’s fun really, you can get creative with some of the field placings knowing he’s going to land it exactly where you want it to.

Lyon joined an elite group as the tenth spinner to claim ten wickets in a men’s Test in New Zealand, becoming the first Australian spinner to achieve this. Cummins continued to praise his star partner.

“I thought he was brilliant over the last couple of days, bouncing through a few different plans but it always just felt like he was in control.

“And it felt like we had plan B, C and D we could go to as well, but never really felt like we had to.”

“As soon as Starcy (Mitchell Starc) and Josh (Hazlewood, his opening partner) had bowled their first overs at each end, he (Lyon) was coming up and asking me when he’s coming on,” Cummins said.

“That’s great, I feel lucky that just about every bowler in our team is like that at the moment.

“Everyone’s keen to be the matchwinner.”

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