Cummins delivers bold statement on Lyon’s Test future

Australia skipper Pat Cummins reckons Nathan Lyon could continue playing Test cricket until 2027.

Cummins continues to put immense faith in the off-spinner’s ability to perform irrespective of his age. The 36-year-old Lyon was the chief destroyer in Australia's 172-run Test win over New Zealand in Wellington with a 10-wicket match haul while also top-scoring in the second innings with 41.

Cummins even said he would ‘give up the captaincy’ the day Lyon announced his retirement from international cricket.

"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 the Test level until 2027, aiming to join an Ashes-winning tour to the UK. His plans were disrupted last year by a severe calf injury, cutting his campaign short. 

Since returning from that injury, this was Lyon’s first five-wicket haul in an innings. His spoils from the match helped him overtake Courtney Walsh (519) on the list of most Test wickets with 527 wickets in his tally.

"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 10th spinner to claim a ten-wicket match haul in men’s Tests in New Zealand, becoming the first Australian spinner to achieve this. Cummins continued to throw heaps of praise for his star teammate.

"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," Cummins said.

"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 match-winner."

Australia currently lead the series 1-0. The two teams will face each other in the second and final Test in Christchurch from 8 March.

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