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India v Australia 2022/23

Allan Border: Australia should leave out Todd Murphy for the Delhi Test

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Former Australia captain Allan Border has argued that Australia should leave out Todd Murphy for the second Test of their series against India, despite the youngster claiming a seven-for on debut.

Murphy’s performance was one of few positives for Australia as they were handsomely beaten by India at Nagpur. He claimed 7-124 on debut and comfortably outbowled his senior spin partner Nathan Lyon, who toiled away for 47 overs claiming just one wicket.

Despite Murphy’s outstanding debut, Border has argued that Australia should leave out the 22-year-old off-spinner for the second Test at Delhi.


Speaking on SEN Breakfast, Border called for Australia to revert to an attack featuring just one spinner: “We tend to look at the pitches that are gonna turn and say we should play with a couple of spinners. I’m a bit the other way – I think we should go with our strengths, go with our fast bowlers, bowl with certain plans to their batsman, subtle different changes of tactics, and play with the three quicks and just the one spinner.

“That formula has worked for us generally. And when we’ve done well in India in the past, it’s on the back of [Glenn] McGrath, [Michael] Kasprowicz, Jason Gillespie – these guys. Fast bowlers doing a really good job for us and getting the 20 wickets.

“That’s the million dollar question [which spinner should be picked]. You’ve got to go with Lyon, he’s built up enough brownie points over the years to be the first picked. Well done to young Murphy, it’s going to be a tough decision to leave him out, I know the wicket is going to turn but I just reckon the formula for us to be successful is three quickies and one spinner. I think that is going to be better for us than trying to beat them with spin, we’ve tried that forever and ever, and it hasn’t worked. That formula to me just isn’t working, and we need to go back to what does work and that is with the quickies.”

Australia’s opponents are likely to field three spinners at a ground that has been receptive to slow bowling in recent times. Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin respectively average 16.89 and 23.05 with the ball at Delhi in Test cricket. Axar Patel has never played a Test match here, but his 40 Test wickets on Indian soil have come at 12.97 apiece.

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