Todd Murphy wants a baggy green but knows Australia’s tour of India will pose major challenges

“Don’t do it [debut Murphy] in India,” former Australian fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz told the herald this week ahead of the four-Test series. “They are the best spin players in the world.”

Asked whether he was using the upcoming tour as a learning experience or had his sights set on a spot in Australia’s best XI, Murphy said it was a bit of both.

Australian squad for four-Test India series

  • Pat Cummins (NSW/Penrith Cricket Club) (c)
  • Ashton Agar (WA/University Cricket Club)
  • Scott Boland (VIC/Frankston Peninsula Cricket Club)
  • Alex Carey (SA/Glenelg Cricket Club)
  • Cameron Green ((WA/Subiaco-Floreat Cricket Club)
  • Josh Hazlewood (NSW/St George Cricket Club)
  • Peter Handscomb (VIC/St Kilda Cricket Club)
  • Travis Head (SA/Tea Tree Gully Cricket Club)
  • Usman Khawaja (QLD/Valley District Cricket Club)
  • Marnus Labuschagne (QLD/Redlands Cricket Club)
  • Nathan Lyon (NSW/Northern District Cricket Club)
  • Lance Morris (WA/Scarborough Cricket Club)
  • Todd Murphy (VIC/St Kilda Cricket Club)
  • Matthew Renshaw (QLD/Toombul District CC)
  • Steve Smith (NSW/Sutherland Cricket Club) (vc)
  • Mitchell Starc (NSW/Manly Warringah Cricket Club)
  • Mitchell Swepson (QLD/Sandgate-Redcliffe Cricket Club)
  • David Warner (NSW/Randwick Petersham Cricket Club)

Murphy feels he’s ready to handle whatever India’s batters throw at him, if given the chance, but is acutely aware of the degree of difficulty in a country Australia has not won a series in for 19 years.

“I’m going over there really open to learning and whatever comes of that, comes of it,” Murphy said. “If that means playing, then awesome, but if not the learnings I will take out of it is going to hold me in good stead going forward.

“I am under no illusions as to how difficult it might be at times with how well they do play spin bowling. Being a young spinner going over there… I think it can only help going forward.

“To play against guys who have grown up playing spin their whole life … it’s something I’m going to have to be really patient with and try and learn along the way and figure out ways to outlast them.”

Murphy made his first-class debut for Victoria in April 2021 and has captured 29 wickets at 25.2.

Bailey was asked on Wednesday about Murphy’s chances of playing and whether it was a risk given his lack of first-class cricket.

“I’m always pretty interested in that whole narrative around a good and a bad time to debut,” Bailey said. “I’m sure if you asked the player … I’m not sure they’d be that keen [on waiting until an easier venue].

“Absolutely he’s a chance to play. It’s not a development tour. He’s earned his spot from him. He’s a fierce competitor … and a very humble hard-working good kid.”

The 22-year-old, like Lyon, is a right-arm off-break bowler, which might count against him in India if selectors want different types of spinners in the same attack.

“Whether he can play alongside Gaz is a question but they are different as far as off-spinners go,” Bailey said. “I don’t think you’re necessarily looking at the same type of bowler.

As far as subcontinent experiences go, Murphy toured Sri Lanka last year with Australia A and has also trained at the MRF Academy in Chennai. He did not take up off-spin until he was 16.

Murphy will be hoping Australia opt to play more than one spinner, which is a distinct possibility, given the spin-friendly surfaces that will greet the tourists.

Todd Murphy chats to the media in Coogee on Wednesday.

Todd Murphy chats to the media in Coogee on Wednesday.Credits:Brook Mitchell

“The more spinners the better but I’m not sure they can fit four of us in,” Murphy said with a laugh.

“The four of us are quite different in the way we go about it. We complement each other really well and I think it’ll be really good for us to be over there together and work together to try and figure out some ways to beat the Indians.


“I think [in India] it’s a little bit of a different way of bowling. Over here you try and trust your over-spin ball and try and use it to your advantage.

“Over there, I think spin comes into it a little bit more. [It is about] just playing around with seam positions and being open to change the way you bowl mid-game to suit the conditions over there.”

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