From Inexperience to Impressive: How Murphy and Kuhnemann Excelled in India

Dan Vettori, the associate coach for Australia, is proud of the Australia’s young spinners for handling the conditions rather than the famous Indian batters. Murphy and Kuhnemann show their skills against the opposing team.

In the cricket match at Indore, Todd Murphy delivers a cunning ball to Virat Kohli in India’s first innings. Kohli, expecting a turn from around the stumps, is caught off guard as the ball skids through and misses his bat. Later, Murphy fires a full and fast delivery that Kohli attempts to defend, but he plays across the front pad and is ultimately given out after a review. The ball was found to be on track to hit the stumps, and India’s situation continues to deteriorate.

Even though Murphy only took one wicket in the third Test, his achievement was still noteworthy because he had already taken seven wickets in his debut match in Nagpur. He had also created the ideal atmosphere with his opening remarks. Matthew Kuhnemann’s five-wicket haul helped India lose the Indore Test on the opening day for a dismal total of 109.

Nathan Lyon had a remarkable day in the second innings of the match, taking eight wickets and adding to his already impressive Test career. However, the exceptional performances of Australia’s young spinners throughout the series have been equally remarkable. Murphy’s dismissal of Kohli in the third test marked his third removal of the Indian captain in the series, having only given up 41 runs from 99 balls to him overall. Meanwhile, Kuhnemann has claimed Kohli’s wicket twice in three innings.

The spinners were presented with the perfect pitch conditions to showcase their talent, but it also came with immense pressure to perform. Murphy and Kuhnemann, having played a combined 20 first-class matches before this series, could have easily felt overwhelmed. Daniel Vettori, Australia’s assistant coach, who made his Test debut after only two first-class matches back in 1996-97, acknowledged the high expectations placed on spinners in these conditions. He commended Murphy and Kuhnemann for their impressive consistency against some of the world’s best spin players, given the high stakes and intense pressure.

According to Vettori, the key to success for spinners in these conditions is consistency and an unwavering commitment to their process. This series has showcased several spinners from both teams who have demonstrated this quality. Despite the pressure and high expectations, all six spinners have managed to remain composed and consistent.

In the second innings, Kuhnemann was not as economical as before, but he did manage to dismiss Kohli. On the other hand, Murphy’s 14 overs went wicketless but were still instrumental in restricting India to a low run rate. His economy rate of just 1.28 runs per over has been lauded by experts.

According to Daniel Vettori, Todd Murphy has the ability to both attack and defend.

Alex Carey, who witnessed Murphy’s dismissal of Kohli during the second innings in Delhi, praised the Australia’s young spinners for adapting to the pitch conditions and not just playing the batsmen. Carey noted that Murphy’s economical bowling during a time when Matthew Kuhnemann was struggling was crucial in keeping India’s score in check, even if he didn’t take any wickets.

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“Steve Smith singled out Murphy because of his exploits in the most recent test,” said Vettori. Naturally, Nathan and Matt took all the wickets, but his spell made it possible for everyone else to get those wickets. And I believe that sequence of deliveries he bowled to Kohli best captures it. “Todd possesses the ability to adapt to pretty much any situation in the game by being able to bowl both defensively and offensively. It has been impressive for such a young and inexperienced spinner to be able to come here, handle these challenging situations, and fulfill the part that is needed.”


Daniel Vettori, the former New Zealand spinner and current assistant coach of the Australian cricket team, has a wealth of experience in playing in India, having featured in eight Tests in the country. During his time in India, Vettori claimed 31 wickets at an average of 44.77, in an era where the pitches were typically batsman-friendly, at least during the first half of the game. Despite his vast experience, Vettori has been unable to offer firsthand insights into the pitches that have been served up during the ongoing Australia-India Test series.

The pitches in the current series have been a topic of intense discussion, with some experts labeling them as “unplayable” and “dustbowls.” The tracks have favored spinners, and the pressure has been immense on the Australia’s young spinners, Murphy and Kuhnemann, who have played a combined total of only 20 first-class matches before this series. However, Vettori has praised the duo for their impressive performances, commending them for playing the conditions rather than focusing on the opposition’s batting lineup.

Many of the players have asked me if I’ve played on these kinds of wickets, but I simply haven’t, he said. “The pitches I played on were always just a battle of attrition: India won the toss and scored 600, you scored 400, and you clung on for dear life in the final few days. In many respects, the game is currently in fast forward ” Australia’s young spinners are demonstrating their ability to keep up with a fast-paced game.

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