Todd Murphy set for debut, Pat Cummins discusses team selection


Victorian off-spinner Todd Murphy is set to make his Test debut in the series opener against India as Australia prepares for a rank turner in Nagpur.

Australia has been forced to reshuffle its line-up due to multiple injuries, and skipper Pat Cummins hinted that Murphy was likely to be named in his team.

A Test debut would continue what’s been a meteoric rise for the 22-year-old, who has just seven first-class appearances under his belt, albeit with an impressive record of 29 wickets at an average of 25.20.

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Murphy is set to partner Nathan Lyon, meaning Australia will play twin off-spinners for the first time in a Test since 1988 when spin duo Tim May and Peter Taylor lined up together in Pakistan.

The Victorian youngster looks set to beat out left-arm spinner Ashton Agar, and Cummins downplayed concerns over the attack lacking variety with two off-spinners.

“I think in these conditions, they really spin, so just really good bowling is what you’re after, being consistent time and time again,” the Australian captain said.

“I don’t think you need to go searching for anything more, the conditions will come to you. You’ve seen Nath (Lyon) be really, really effective over here.

“A lot of bat-pad, leg slip kind of catches for the right-handers, so ideally, you’ve got variety in any attack, but I don’t think it has to be the case just for that sake.

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“I think he’d (Murphy) be as prepared as he could be. He’s been bowling beautifully in the nets over here. He’s started really well for Victoria in first-class cricket.

“If he got the nod, he’s got Nathan Lyon down the other end that he can work with.”

The first Test of the four-match series gets underway at 3pm AEDT on Thursday.

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