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

Australian spinner Todd Murphy is set to role out the same blueprints that saw him become a cult hero in the subcontinent when he jets off to join county side Durham ahead of the Ashes.

Murphy, 22, announced himself on the international stage after taking 7/124 during the first innings of the first Border-Gavaskar Test in Nagpur earlier this month.

And while the bespectacled off-spinner remained an unknown quantity to his opponents, as well as an array of Aussie punters, Murphy's early success in the subcontinent was born out of familiarity and preparedness.

A pair of trips to the MRF Academy in Chennai during 2019 and 2022 had the Victorian keenly aware of what lay ahead on Indian tracks. Time spent with the Australian side in Sri Lanka last year also acted as a vital learning tool.

Now, less than four months out from the opening Ashes Test against old enemy England at Edgbaston, Murphy is set to put these same plans into place after agreeing to terms with Durham for the early stages of the 2023 season.

As first reported by The Guardian, the Moama native will call the Riverside Ground home during the intermission between the end of the Indian tour and the World Test Championship Final in London.

The short stint under Durham head coach and former Australian white-ball specialist Ryan Campbell will allow Murphy to familiarise himself with the traits of the Duke ball.

Noted for their durability, shape retention and propensity for swinging, Duke balls are manufactured in Walthamstow, East London, and have proven a nemesis for touring Australian parties.

While the chance to bowl with a preserved seam deep into innings is sure to delight Murphy, pitches and conditions are likely to remain a mystery to him until touching down in the North East after the fourth Test against India scheduled between March 9 to 13 in Ahmedabad.

The task of producing a windfall up north is against Murphy, with reporting that Durham spinners amassed only 18 wickets at 71.28 in 2022.

Murphy and the Australians will recommence hostilities with India on March 1 during the third Test in Indore.

Durham's season is scheduled to begin when facing Sussex at the 1st Central County Ground in Hove on April 6.