New Delhi: Former Australia cricketer Trent Copeland believes Todd Murphy is the perfect replacement for injured Nathan Lyon should the veteran off-spinner be ruled out from the remainder of the Ashes series.
On Day Two, Lyon was running in to take a catch of Ben Duckett off the bowling of Cameron Green in the leg-side after tea in the 37th over, when he pulled up sharply while running towards the ball.
The injury was so serious that Lyon had to go off the field by taking the support of a member of the Australian team’s medical staff. On Friday, Lyon arrived at Lord’s on crutches, as Cricket Australia announced the premier off-spinner has been diagnosed with a significant calf strain.
It added that a call on Lyon’s availability for the rest of the Ashes will be taken once the ongoing second Test at Lord’s ends. Now with Australia looking at playing Ashes minus Lyon, off-spinner Murphy is now shaping up to be his replacement, with the third Test at Headingley starting just three days after the game at Lord’s ends.
“c, to me, is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to Nathan Lyon. We saw that firsthand in India and I couldn’t be more confident that he’s ready to go. I just love what he’s about and how great is it that we had a sub-continent tour to expose him to Test cricket alongside Nathan Lyon for this moment,” said Copeland on SEN Radio.
Murphy made his Test debut in the first Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test against India at Nagpur and impressed while playing all four games, taking 14 wickets at an average of 25.21, with best figures of 7/124.
“I’m excited for Murphy but I’m devastated for ‘Gaz’, if he’s to miss not just the second innings of this Test but maybe some more in arguably the biggest series ever, he’d be flat and we’re all feeling for him,” added Copeland.
Steve Smith Backs Murphy
Murphy is yet to play in an Ashes Test, but premier Australia batter Steve Smith thinks the youngster can hit the ground running if he’s confirmed to replace Lyon.
“Todd has been bowling beautifully in nets and bowled really well in India when he got his opportunity. I would be confident if he came in that he would do a terrific job for us,” he said in the post-day press conference on Thursday.