New Delhi : Former Australian off-spinner Steve O’Keefe is excited about the prospect of young offie Todd Murphy in line for a potential Test debut on tour to India, saying the 22-year-old is as talented as premier spinner Nathan Lyon.
Murphy, 22, got his maiden Test call-up as part of the 18-man tour for the four-Test series of India, picked to be the fourth spinner alongside veteran Lyon, left-arm spinner Ashton Agar and leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson.
Having played alongside Murphy at the domestic level with the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League, O’Keefe has backed Murphy to succeed in India despite having played just seven first-class matches for his domestic team Victoria.
“He’s as talented an off-spinner I’ve seen since Nathan Lyon. Whether it be Shield cricket or him stepping up in the Prime Minister’s game, or the West Indies he also went over to the subcontinent and played in Sri Lanka A game and took four wickets — every game he’s played he’s really impressed.”
“He learns very, very quickly, he’s open to feedback and listens to what people have to say. But when he goes out onto the field, he knows the ball is in his hand, it’s his responsibility. He really does take on those roles and responsibilities better than anyone I’ve seen for a 22-year-old,” said O’Keefe to SEN Radio.
While some believe Murphy is picked as a backup option for Lyon on the India tour, O’Keefe is certain that he can even partner with the veteran off-spinner at some stage. “I think as George said in his meeting we’re picking him over there because we think he’s ready.”
“You might not see it for the Sixers – Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy playing together – but I think for Australia you certainly will at some stage during that Test tour. Seeing those two bowling together in a Test, that’d be the first for as long as I can remember, two off-spinners playing for Australia.”