Australia’s Todd Murphy is in the frame for the first Test match against India in Nagpur which kicks starts on Thursday (February 9) at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium. If this is the case he will become the 465th player to earn the Baggy Green cap for the Aussies as they try to end their 19-year wait for a Test series win on Indian soil. On the flip side, Peter Handscomb could also feature for the first time in four years.
Is Murphy set for debut?
The visitors have come up with a definite plan and brought four spin options including uncapped Murphy. The 22-year-old could benefit from the injury worries in the squad as the likes of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are ruled out of the match while Cameron Green also looks all but done, having failed to prove his fitness before the opening contest.
Murphy, along with Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Swepson and Ashton Agar is one of the prime spin options at Pat Cummins’ disposal. Murphy has played seven First Class matches and scalped 29 wickets with a best of 42/4. In his List A career, he has 12 wickets in 14 matches while he was also a member of Australia’s U-19 squad.
Peter Handscomb to return after three years?
If the injury woes continue to circulate the visitors, wicketkeeper-batter Handscomb could feature for the first time in four years. Interestingly, Handscomb’s last Test match came against India in January 2019 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. He has since been frozen out of the team and could seek a comeback into the team if an opportunity is presented to him.
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Final team selection before toss
Australia skipper Pat Cummins has urged that he won't reveal the team until the toss on Thursday in Nagpur. Unlike the home Test series, where the Aussies reveal the team a day before the start of the match, they have opted against and kept the suspense before the big encounter on Thursday.
The first Test match between India and Australia will start at 9:30 AM on Thursday (February 9) with the toss taking place at 9:00 AM.