Ahmedabad, March 7 (IANS) Australian spinner Todd Murphy, who has dismissed Virat Kohli in three consecutive Test matches of the ongoing Border Gavaskar Trophy, on Tuesday revealed that it has been an ‘awesome’ achievement and a really enjoyable battle while recalling his experience of bowling to the star India batter for the first time in the series opener in Nagpur.
Murphy had Kohli superbly caught down the leg side by Alex Carey during a dream Test debut that netted the 22-year-old seven wickets in India’s first innings and further impressive performances during the second and third Tests have only further confirmed that the right-arm belongs at the top level.
Just earning a debut cap was a big honour for Murphy, but dismissing Kohli on three separate occasions during his first three Test appearances has provided even more joy for the young spinner.
“It’s been awesome, when I look back to Nagpur when he (Kohli) walked out to bat I was sort of at the top of my mark thinking ‘this is as good as it gets’ getting to bowl to a guy like that,” Murphy was quoted as saying by ICC on Tuesday.
“To be able to have that for the first three Tests has been awesome, a really enjoyable battle and no different to bowling to a lot of their guys when they stand there it is daunting at times.
It is always nice when plans come off, Nagpur wasn’t an ideal dismissal but you take what you can get so to have a couple of times the last few games has been really nice and validation that what we are thinking works,” he added.
The 22-year-old spinner will likely play his fourth Test match in quick succession when Australia’s series against India concludes in Ahmedabad and the Victorian knows there are no guarantees he will retain his place in the Test team during June’s ICC World Test Championship final and the five-match Ashes series against England.
“I haven’t thought too far ahead but when you look ‘Gaz (Lyon) is still bowling as good as he ever has so when this series does come to an end it is going to slow down a little, it’s quite rare in other places in the world to play two spinners,” Murphy said.
“To have this taste so early will drive me to get better and want it even more when hopefully it next does come. It’s been pretty surreal, coming over here and not really sure what to expect with opportunities and that.
To play the first three Tests and be part of a winning side last Test was awesome, it’s been a great tour and something I’m going to look back on for a long time and be really proud of,” he added.
Australia have booked their berth for the Ultimate Test at the Oval on 7 June but will not rest on their laurels when they take on India in the final Border-Gavaskar match commencing March 9. The hosts have a chance to punch their ticket to the WTC23 Final with a win but are now up against an Aussie side high on confidence after the victory in Indore.
Should India lose the Ahmedabad Test, they will need New Zealand to do them a favour against Sri Lanka. In the series commencing on the same day as the final India-Australia Test, the Islanders need to win the series away 2-0 to face Australia in the WTC23 Final; any other result would mean the World Test Championship Final will witness Australia take on India.