Todd Murphy’s name has been mentioned as a possible bolter for next year’s tour of India, but Victorian teammate Nic Maddinson says that term is unfair and the youngster is an obvious choice to make his Test debut in spin-friendly conditions.
The 22-year-old has only played seven first-class matches but has shown in that time he has the temperament and skill to be a genuine threat on the biggest stage.
The off-spinner bowled Victoria to victory in last week’s Sheffield Shield match against NSW, claiming career-best match figures of 7/86 to take his tally to 14 wickets from just three matches this season.
That’s on top of the 3/27 he took for the PM’s XI in the first innings against the West Indies as well as the four wickets he picked up for Australia A against Sri Lanka A back in June.
It’s why Maddinson is adamant the young gun should beat out the likes of Mitchell Swepson and Adam Zampa to partner Nathan Lyon when the Aussies travel to India early next year.
“I’d take him to India,” Maddinson told the NCA NewsWire while speaking at the BBL launch in Sydney.
“But I wouldn’t call him a bolter. I think he’s a clear standout in Shield cricket at the moment for the spinners.
“He’s got incredible control as a finger spinner and he bowls so well to right and left-handers, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him picked for that tour.”
While Murphy may seem unassuming, Maddinson has been impressed with his on-field leadership and his willingness to dictate terms to his senior teammates.
“It’s pretty impressive when you consider just how few first-class games he’s actually played,” he said.
“In spite of that, he takes control of his fields and isn’t afraid to call the shots.
“You wouldn’t think he was seven games into his career by the way he conducts himself on the field. He likes to take charge but he’s also willing to learn and more than happy to take ideas from everyone else.
“I think that’s a huge thing for a young player and it’s been great to see him develop so quickly since he’s joined our squad.
“He doesn’t give the batters anything and you saw against NSW that he wears people down and eventually takes their wicket.”
Maddinson will have to face Murphy during this season’s BBL, with the spinner re-signing with the Sixers back in October after he joined the squad late last year.
That was music to the ears of Sixers keeper Josh Philippe, who took a catch off Murphy’s bowling during the match in Sri Lanka.
“He works his backside off, he’s very fit and he deserves everything that comes his way,” he said.
“I think he’s absolutely ready to make his Test debut because he’s a fantastic bowler. He went on the Sri Lanka tour for the Aussie A series and he bowled exceptionally well over there.
“When he came in for us last year in the BBL, he was ready. For someone that young to come into the Big Bash the way that he did last year shows you everything you need to know.
“If he gets an opportunity next year, then he’ll be ready to go.”