With 14 wickets to his name in his first four Tests, Todd Murphy is becoming a noteworthy name in Men’s Ashes: England vs Australia.
Venue: Headingley Date: Thursday, 6 July Time: 11:00 BST
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When Australia last played a Test without Nathan Lyon, the man stepping into his shoes, Todd Murphy, was only 12 years old.
Over the next decade, Lyon cemented his place as one of the premier spin bowlers globally, inching towards 500 Test wickets, just four away.
However, the spotlight is now on 22-year-old off-spinner Murphy, who’s being hailed as a fitting successor.
Donning steel-rimmed glasses, Murphy made an impressive Test debut in India earlier this year, claiming 7-124 in the hosts’ first innings. This achievement etched his name in history as the youngest Australian spinner to bag a five-wicket haul on debut.
What’s more astonishing is that Murphy didn’t take up spin bowling until his mid-teens. As of last November, he was part of St Kilda, a mostly amateur club in Melbourne’s coastal suburbs. This club is well known for producing great Australian spin bowlers.
Shane Warne, the renowned spinner, played for St Kilda in the late 80s and early 90s before etching his own name in Ashes history by bowling the “ball of the century” to a perplexed Mike Gatting during the 1993 series.
St Kilda president, Paul Ryan, firmly believes that Murphy, who played for their 4th XI just six years ago, has the potential to make a similar impact.
“Todd is confident and sticks to what works best for him,” says Ryan.
“He remains unflustered on the field. He’s composed under pressure and has a knack for delivering when we most need a wicket.”
Warne’s influence is felt strongly at St Kilda – his photo graces the home team dressing room. Murphy, much like Warne, is renowned for his dedication to the game.
Ryan disagrees with those who label Warne a “natural”. He explains, “Shane worked incredibly hard to master his craft. He spent hours and late into the nights perfecting his control and delivery. Todd emulates this same dedication, taking his craft very seriously and excelling at it.”
What sparked Murphy’s meteoric rise? Ryan recalls, “We always knew Todd had immense potential. Victoria had earmarked him for the future [in the Sheffield Shield], but his performances in the Big Bash proved to be a game changer – he was consistent and bowled exceptionally well.”
Ryan believes that Murphy’s precise control is a crucial part of his bowling. Coupled with his excellent variation and speed, and his height that enables him to get some bounce, Murphy has been able to ascend to the next level.
Ryan explains further, “Like all successful spinners, Todd has a cunning understanding of the game. He reads both the game and the batsman well, skillfully adjusting his tactics in a way that confounds the opposition.”
Perhaps Murphy’s most significant skill is his ability to dismantle the world’s best. In India, he claimed the wicket of Virat Kohli four times and Cheteshwar Pujara twice.
A word of caution to Joe Root – you’re next on the list…
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Todd Murphy’s cricket journey
Who is Todd Murphy?
Todd Murphy is a 22-year-old off-spinner who has recently made a significant impact in the Australian Test cricket team. He made his debut earlier in the year in India, where he took 7-124 in the hosts’ first innings, becoming the youngest Australian spinner to take a five-wicket haul on debut.
What is Murphy’s connection to Shane Warne and St Kilda?
Before his rise to Test cricket, Todd Murphy played for St Kilda, a mostly amateur cricket club in the coastal suburbs of Melbourne. This is the same club where Australian spin legend Shane Warne played during the late 1980s and early 90s. According to the club’s president, Paul Ryan, Murphy shares Warne’s dedicated work ethic.
How did Murphy rise to prominence in the cricketing world?
Todd Murphy’s impressive performance during his debut in India, where he claimed 7-124 in the hosts’ first innings, marked his arrival on the international cricket scene. However, his talent was recognized earlier, as he was identified for the future in the Sheffield Shield. His performances in the Big Bash League also played a crucial role in his rise to prominence.
What notable achievements has Todd Murphy made in his career so far?
So far in his career, Todd Murphy has made a name for himself by taking 14 wickets in his first four Tests. He also became the youngest Australian spinner to take a five-wicket haul on his debut Test match in India.
What distinguishes Todd Murphy as a spin bowler?
Todd Murphy is known for his precision and control in bowling, along with excellent variation and speed. Additionally, his ability to read the game and the batsman allows him to adjust his tactics in a way that is not easily predictable for the opposition. His height, which aids in achieving bounce, is also a notable advantage.