After taking the field for the second Test of Ashes 2023 against England at Lord’s on Wednesday, veteran Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon became the first specialist bowler to play 100 consecutive matches in the longest format of the game.
Lyon, who made his Test debut in July 2011, has also become only the sixth player in the history of the game to feature in 100 consecutive Tests.
Apart from Lyon, Alastair Cook (159), Allan Border (153), Mark Waugh (107), Sunil Gavaskar (106) and Brendon McCullum (101) are the other players in the list.
“That’s something I’m really proud of. To be able to tick off 100 consecutive Test matches, that’s a proper stat in my head. That’s a lot of Test cricket, a lot of ups and downs. No wonder I’ve got no hair,” Lyon had told cricket.com.au, ahead of his 100th consecutive Test appearance.
Lyon also credited former New South Wales Waratahs rugby representative and Australia women’s rugby sevens’ head of athletic performance Tom Carter for keeping him in prime physical shape throughout his 12-year Test career, apart from acknowledging support from family and friends.
“For any athlete to be successful over a long period of time, you’ve got to have really good people around you, and I’m not talking within the Australian cricket team. I feel like my family has been absolutely amazing, with their support and love and care,” the spinner said.
“Then there is Tom Carter, who is arguably one of my best mates but also my PT (personal trainer) who I do a lot of work with behind the scenes. It’s probably five days a week when we’re at home, and he’s a psychologist as well as a fitness trainer because I’m able to vent to him and there’s no judgement. We have really good conversations, so it’s probably having those really good people around you and I dare say a lot of athletes would feel the same, being able to do it for a long period of time,” he added.
In the match, Australia have been asked to bat first under overcast skies at Lord’s by hosts England, who had won the toss.
For Australia, left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc replaced right-arm seamer Scott Boland in the playing XI while the hosts have brought in pacer Josh Tongue in place of off-spin all-rounder Moeen Ali.
Australia are currently leading the five-match Ashes series 1-0, after winning the opening affair at Edgbaston by two wickets in a thrilling way.