Pat Cummins: Age isn’t doing a thing to hamper Nathan Lyon’s gifts

Nathan Lyon demonstrated in New Zealand that his career is far from over.

Nathan Lyon demonstrated in New Zealand that his career is far from over. Photo: AP

Australia captain Pat Cummins has backed Nathan Lyon’s bid to play through to the 2027 Ashes after seeing the spinner run through New Zealand in the first Test.

The Black Caps’ run of five straight victories at the Basin Reserve ended with a bump on Sunday as Australia took a 172-run victory in Wellington.

Cam Green was named man of the match for his mammoth unbeaten 174 in the first innings, but Lyon ran him a close second.

The 36-year-old finished with 10 wickets for the Test and chimed in with a helpful cameo with the bat in the second innings, making 41 to top-score as his teammates fell cheaply.

Spinners don’t often have it their way in New Zealand, with Lyon the first tweaker to take a 10-wicket haul in the country in 18 years, underscoring his fine performance.

‘A real sense of calm’

After watching Lyon’s fourth 10-wicket Test – the first under his captaincy – Cummins described the spinner as an “absolute dream”.

“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,” Cummins said.

“You can get creative with some of the field placements, knowing he’s going to land it exactly where you want it.”

Never was that more evident than in Kane Williamson’s second-innings dismissal, with the Kiwi great flicking the ball off his pads straight to Steve Smith at leg slip.

“That was the plan,” Lyon said after day three.

“It’s nice when plans come up pretty well straightaway.

‘He looks after his body’

“I’ve noticed something in Kane’s batting against my bowling so I tried to exploit that.

Cummins said he assumed Lyon would make it through to his stated goal of the 2027 Ashes series, by which time he will be 39.

“I’d love for him to keep going until 2027. The only barrier really is his body,” the skipper 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.”


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