IND vs AUS: Steve O'Keefe praises Australia’s decision to hand out Test debut to Todd Murphy in Nagpur Test

Todd Murphy has been included in the Australian playing XI as the second spin bowling option alongside Nathan Lyon for the first Test in Nagpur.

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Todd Murphy. (Photo Source: Instagram/CricketAustralia)

Australia's domestic veteran and left-arm orthodox bowler Steve O'Keefe has applauded the Australian team’s decision to hand out Test debut to Todd Murphy. The 22-year-old right-arm off-spinner has been included in Australia’s playing XI for the ongoing first Test against India in Nagpur.

Murphy has been included as the second spin bowling option along with Nathan Lyon ahead of Ashton Agar and leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson in the squad. Murphy has played seven first-class matches and taken 29 wickets at a bowling average of 25.20. 

O'Keefe mentioned Murphy's ability to get overspin and drop will hold him in a good stead during the ongoing series against India. 

"I think he bowls with overspin and drop. Not only that, he's got a lot of skills to his armory, he can bowl square seam which is important over there… Todd Murphy is the guy in his brief cricket journey so far who can use all of those skills in certain parts of the game and really exploit them," O’Keefe said on SEN radio.

"I think what you'll see with Todd is he can bowl the classic off-spinner along with three or four other (types of deliveries). I can see him in the next 12-18 months being a suitable replacement for Nathan Lyon and I think we'll see that straight away in this first Test," he further added.

O’Keefe also advised the young spinner to bowl tight and straight, and play a containing role as a spinner.

"Todd's going to have to bowl tight, he's going to have to bowl straight and he's going to have to do that containing role because the last thing you want over there is two spinners that are going at four an over there, particularly if you only have two quicks," said O'Keefe.

O'Keefe further stated that the Indian batters will try to put pressure on the young spinner and mentioned that the rest of the bowlers will have to support him.

"This is what India will do, they'll put the young spinner under the pump straight away. I just hope that Todd can produce his best and really lock down an end and do what is required to support the other three bowlers," O’Keefe concluded.

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