Pitch battle as India roll out two strips ahead of Modi’s Ahmedabad pageant

“We just got here now and this is huge, it’s a fair way from home,” Murphy said. “It’s impressive, it’s big, a long walk down from the change rooms. It’s going to be noisy, it’s exciting though, I think everyone sort of looks forward to opportunities to play in front of those sorts of crowds.”

Not even part of the Victorian state team at the start of the season, 22-year-old Murphy’s studious development in Echuca, Bendigo and Melbourne, aided by spin coach Craig Howard, has equipped him brilliantly for the task of adapting to India.

It has been underlined by how Murphy, after taking seven wickets in his first Test innings in Nagpur, has been able to dismiss the great Virat Kohli three times, while being treated with the greatest respect by India’s batters in Indore.

Figures of 0-18 from 16 overs in the tense second innings of Australia’s nine-wicket victory were in their way as important as the eight wickets scooped by Nathan Lyon at the other end, meaning India could never find a valve for pressure release.

“It’s been pretty surreal, coming over here and not really sure what to expect with opportunities and that,” Murphy said. “I’ve been through all the emotions. I think the first two Tests was disappointing more because we were in the game, and it was just the one hour where things happened frantically and you end up losing the Test by a lot.

“Looking back on that, we’re able to take away that we’ve been in the game. To put that into play last week and put a complete Test together was really pleasing. Being a part of my first Test win is something I’ll cherish forever.”


Kohli was a fortunate first success. The former captain glanced a short ball down the leg side into Alex Carey’s juggling gloves, was overtaken by a legitimate stumping when beating the outside edge in Delhi, then there was a delectable spell on the first day in Indore, dragging Kohli across the crease then winning an lbw verdict.

“It’s always nice when it looks like that and I think the plans for around the wicket is always to challenge both sides of the edges,” Murphy said. “For that to work out the way it did was nice and to get him out again was awesome.

“When I look back to Nagpur when he 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. So 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.”

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