Steve Smith hints at Todd Murphy's 'Ashes' debut as Australia mull over Nathan Lyon's injury ahead of Headingley Test
Nathan Lyon sustained a calf injury in the ongoing second Ashes Test against England.
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Australia is grappling with the possibility of introducing the talented young off-spinner, Todd Murphy, for his Ashes debut at Headingley, following a concerning calf injury suffered by Nathan Lyon. As the Australian team aims to secure victory in the second Test at Lord's without their most exceptional off-spinner in history, Murphy emerges as an ideal replacement. Steve Smith, who scored a century in Australia's first innings, spoke highly of Murphy in light of Lyon's potential absence. Smith acknowledged that losing Lyon would be far from ideal, particularly considering his crucial role as the spin bowler.
However, he expressed confidence in Murphy's abilities, citing his impressive performances in the nets and his excellent debut series in India earlier this year, where he claimed 14 wickets in four Tests at an average of 25.
“However Todd Murphy is waiting in the wings. He has been bowling beautifully in the nets and bowled really well in India when he got his opportunity as well. So I’d be confident if he came in he’d do a terrific job for us, but fingers crossed Nathan’s all right.” Smith was quoted as saying by WAtoday.
Smith's century at Lord's not only contributed to Australia's first-innings total of 416 but also elevated him to the esteemed company of Steve Waugh with 32 Test hundreds. Only Ricky Ponting, with 41 centuries, stands ahead of Smudge
“I missed out last game, so I was keen to make a few this game,” Smith said. “I love playing at Lord’s ... it’s nice to get myself back up on the honours board again,” Smith concluded.
Change in tactics led Australia to gain control of second Ashes Test on Day 2
England were initially dominant on day 2, reaching 188 for the loss of just one wicket. However, Australia's captain, Pat Cummins, altered the team's tactics by instructing bowlers to deploy short-pitched deliveries, leading to a collapse in England's batting line-up. Ollie Pope, Ben Duckett, and Joe Root all fell to this strategy, showcasing the potential effectiveness of such tactics throughout the series.
While some criticized England's approach, Smith found it intriguing and acknowledged that it was a reasonable response given the pitch conditions. Nevertheless, England's persistence in taking on the bouncers created opportunities for Australia to regain control of the game.
As the series progresses, Australia faces the prospect of introducing Todd Murphy, the promising young spinner, to compensate for Nathan Lyon's injury. The outcome of Lyon's fitness evaluation will determine whether Murphy makes his Ashes debut at Headingley next week. Regardless, the Australian team remains optimistic, relying on their depth of talent and the potential contributions of their young stars to retain the Ashes.