Nathan Lyon has an impressive milestone in his sights at Lord’s

By Sports Desk June 27, 2023

Nathan Lyon is set to play his 100th consecutive Test when Australia and England meet at Lord’s from Wednesday.

The second Ashes Test sees the visiting spinner bring up an unprecedented landmark for a bowler and here, the PA news agency looks at his record in that time.

Six of the best

Lyon will become only the sixth man to play 100 consecutive Tests, with the others all specialist batters including one regular wicketkeeper – current England coach Brendon McCullum, whose 101 Tests without missing a game mark the next figure for Lyon to pass. McCullum took the gloves in 52 of those games.

India’s Sunil Gavaskar and Australia’s Mark Waugh played 106 and 107 consecutive Tests respectively, both in Lyon’s sights barring injury or a shock omission.

Allan Border’s Australian record of 153 successive appearances will surely remain out of reach, however, along with former England captain Sir Alastair Cook’s world record of 159.

Even the other regular bowlers on the list were all-rounders, with Sir Garry Sobers closest behind Lyon with 85 consecutive appearances for the West Indies.

Kapil Dev had separate runs of 66 and 65 for India, missing only one Test in his 131-match career, while Lord Ian Botham also played 65 in a row for England between 1978 and 1984.

In terms of specialist bowlers, spinner Anil Kumble’s 60 consecutive Tests for India from 1992 to 2000 is the longest run other than Lyon’s.

Five from 500

Lyon’s 495 Test wickets rank eighth all time and fourth among spinners, with the fairytale prospect of bringing up 500 and adding his name to the famous Lord’s honours board in the process.

On his previous visits to the Home of Cricket, he took one for 53 and two for 27 in 2015 and three for 68 before a wicketless second innings in 2019.

He needs 24 wickets to catch former West Indies paceman Courtney Walsh for the next spot on the list, though compatriot Glenn McGrath could remain out of reach in sixth, 68 ahead of Lyon.

England’s long-standing new-ball pair James Anderson (686) and Stuart Broad (588) are in the top five along with the other spinners on the list – Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan clear on 800, Australia great Shane Warne taking 708 and India’s Anil Kumble splitting Anderson and Broad with 619.

Since his debut in August 2011, Lyon has missed only four of the 125 Tests Australia have played – against India at Perth in 2012 and Hyderabad the following year, plus the first two games of the 2013 Ashes in England.

Since being recalled at Old Trafford in August 2013 he has been ever-present, taking 419 wickets at an average of 30.60 including 20 of his 23 five-wicket hauls.

He has four 10-wicket matches along the way, with his best figures of eight for 50 in an innings and 13 for 154 in a match both set in 2017 against India and Bangladesh respectively.

His run of 99 Tests so far includes 109 wickets in 29 Ashes Tests and 99 in 21 against India, with double figures of Tests too against South Africa (13) and Pakistan (12). Eight games against New Zealand, seven each against the West Indies and Sri Lanka and two against Bangladesh complete the list.

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