Sheffield Shield - VIC v NSW: Day 4
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 04: Todd Murphy of Victoria prepares to bowl during the Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and New South Wales at CitiPower Centre, on December 04, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)
Sheffield Shield - VIC v NSW: Day 4

12 months ago, Todd Murphy couldn't crack it for a gig with Victoria's Sheffield Shield XI.

Fast forward to Friday, and the bespectacled spinner had taken his boyhood dreams from the mind into the middle of Nagpur's Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, claiming a debut five-wicket haul.

Australians everywhere cheered on their newest cult hero, with Murphy spinning and winning against each of KL Rahul, Ravichandran Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara, Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli across the opening two days.

But for the 22-year-old from up on the Murray, it was his work elsewhere in the subcontinent that acted as the catalyst for his successes in the series opener.

As a member of Australia A's tour of Sri Lanka last year, Murphy earned a crash course on Asian conditions, bagging four red-ball wickets in the process.

"One of the biggest things for me was getting to go to Sri Lanka and being on that A tour and having a little bit of success over that probably gave me the confidence I needed going back to Australia that I could mix it with first-class cricketers," Murphy said after stumps on Day 2.

Joining the likes of Scott Boland, Matthew Renshaw and Victorian teammate Marcus Harris on the brief tour, Murphy stressed that the ability to mingle amongst men with Test caps played a pivotal role in his successes in Nagpur.

"Being around some of the guys who had played Test cricket, observing everything and competing in the nets and bowling to the Sri Lankans. I took a lot of confidence out of that and reflected and went back, trusted myself a bit more and thought 'what I've got can be good enough' and believe in that," he added.

While able to collect the prized wickets of Kohli and company, Murphy stressed that it hadn't been a walk in the park decoding the styles of India's stars.

"I haven't bowled to a lot of people from around the world but I think the Indian guys, they use their hands really well. They get their hands out in front of their pads and they have got a lot of scoring options too. So (it's) always a really difficult challenge there. And it was quite tough," Murphy divulged.

Yet, after leading his side from the field on Friday evening, the spinner couldn't hide his pride.

"It's been a pretty special couple of days and to top it off with a five-wicket haul on debut is more than I ever hoped for and it is going to be something that I'll look back on for the rest of my life and be proud of," Murphy said.

Murphy and the Australians have it all ahead of them on Day 3, with India currently holding a first-innings lead of 144 runs and three wickets in hand.