Having studied Ravichandran Ashwin from close quarters during his maiden tour of India, young Australia off-spinner Todd Murphy wants to add the Indian tweaker’s carrom ball to his bag of tricks ahead of next week’s World Test Championships final and the Ashes. The 22-year-old claimed 14 wickets at an average of 25.51 during the four-Test series in India earlier this year. Murphy, who is a part of the Australian squad which will take on India in the WTC final at The Oval from June 7 to 11 and the Ashes series, is currently in England honing his skills ahead of the marquee events.
“I am still working on that (carrom ball) but I am still a long way off being able to do it the way Ravi Ashwin can,” Murphy was quoted as saying by ‘cricket.com.au’.
“It is simple in a way, and yet so difficult. It is just about being confident that you can execute it. I’d love to be able to add that myself one day.
“If you have a delivery that goes the other way it just poses different challenges for the batsmen,” he added.
Murphy, however, said his prime focus will be to get his stock ball right.
“You are always looking at ways to tinker and add things to your kitbag but in Test cricket you have to make sure your fundamentals are really good and your stock ball is in as good a position as you can.” As part of his analysis of Ashwin’s bowling action, Murphy would freeze-frame the point of delivery to understand the subtle variations that the Indian brought to his bowling.
“That is the best part of analysis now that you have access to that the whole time,” Murphy said.
“I was really interested in watching that sort of stuff and get a close-up look of his hand and wrist position, just to see how each ball was coming out and if it was behaving differently.
“In those conditions his skillsets are as good as anyone and it was amazing to just watch the subtle variations he is able to implement in sequencing throughout his overs.” With Nathan Lyon being their top spinner, Murphy is not sure how many Tests he will get to play in the next couple of months.
He said he will keep working hard to ensure that if an opportunity comes his way he can grab it with both hands.
“Obviously at the moment ‘Gaz’ (Lyon) is there and has been so good for so long. In a way I hope I don’t have to play a game on this tour because that means he is staying fit and on the park and our quicks are standing up as well,” Murphy said.
“It is a squad mentality. Hopefully I can add value to the squad, train hard and keep developing my skillset. If there is an opportunity that arises I have to make sure I am in a really good position to take it.
“I’ve got to be ready at all times. A lot of things can change and they can change fast.”
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