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

Young gun off spinner Todd Murphy has received star backing from both Kerry O'Keefe and Moises Henriques to be selected on Australia's tour of India.

Murphy is yet to make his Test debut, however, the 22-year-old was believed to be in the picture to partner Nathan Lyon in a spin-heavy attack at the Sydney Cricket Ground for the third Test against South Africa before selectors went with Ashton Agar.

Agar is expected to be selected as one of the spinners who will make the trip to India, with captain Pat Cummins confirming that Sydney wasn't an audition for the left-armer, despite his poor return.

There is an expectation, however, that Australia will take three spinners to India as part of an 18-man squad for the four-Test series, and that Murphy could be one of them.

His return at Sheffield Shield level this summer has seen him average less than 18 with the ball, and he has been a key weapon for Victoria.

O'Keefe, speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, said that he believes Murphy is Australia's best off-spinner since Nathan Lyon.

“I think he's the best off-spinner I've seen come through since Nathan [Lyon],” O'Keefe said.

“It's a big call, but I stand by it and I think I'll be proven right over the next 12 months.”

Australia have other options for the third spinning spot, with Mitch Swepson the incumbent after touring Pakistan and Sri Lanka during 2022 and playing alongside Lyon in a two-man spin attack.

Henriques, who captains Murphy at the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League, speaking to The Australian, said that Murphy's selection will depend on whether Australia want two bowlers spinning the ball the same way.

“It depends if they want two guys spinning it the same way,” Henriques said.

”But I wouldn‘t. I don't know how they match up, if India will play a lot of lefties, which I'm not sure they will with Nathan as your first spinner.

“But he would definitely be my backup for ‘Gazza' [Lyon] no doubt about that.”

His comments came as Cummins suggested similar, with Agar's left-arm orthodox a selling point, while Mitch Swepson is also a leg spinner, who is still in the picture despite generally struggling on the sub-continent against Pakistan and Sri Lnaka.

"I'm sure Ash will be there. Left-arm orthodox, he'll absolutely be there," Cummins said.

The first Test against India starts on February 9.