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AUS vs PAK | 'Babar Azam Is..': Murphy Shows Eagerness Ahead Of Test Series

image-lpjlfvgeTodd Murphy has played six Tests for Australia (Twitter)

Todd Murphy is eager to bolster his stocks and press home his name up for Test selection with success in a high-pressure individual clash with Babar Azam ahead of the forthcoming summer. 

The rising young Australian off-spinner, who made an impressive start to his career via the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on Indian shores in February-March, said he is keen to lock horns with the modern-day giant during the upcoming Prime Minister's XI game.

Murphy is one of the spinners part of the PM XI set to take on the travelling Pakistanis in the pre-series warm-up fixture in Canberra from December 6 and is the backup option in the senior set-up to great Nathan Lyon, who is expected to be the sole spinner taking on the Asian rivals during the three-Test series beginning December 14 in Perth. 

The Victorian off-spinner, who is an understudy to Lyon, has taken 21 scalps in his six Test matches. He is aware that his best opportunity to press for selection in the Test side at some stage over the course of the season is to perform exceedingly well in the red-ball games on offer, especially against the Pakistanis and Babar who is renowned for his spin expertise. 

Murphy Keen To Face-Off Against Babar Azam 

"Bowling to Pakistan's top order batters would be a challenge. Babar Azam is a very good player, and Pakistan's top order boasts players with great class," Murphy was quoted as saying by 'Cricket Pakistan. 

"I am not sure if Babar Azam is playing against PM XI, but it would be exciting to bowl against him. It's always great to get a chance to test yourself against a test-playing nation," he added. 

Notably, the upcoming Test series sets up Babar's return to Australian shores in the format since a pathbreaking 2019 trip Down Under when he transformed from a promising youngster to a world cricket icon. 

The elegant right-hander made a century in Brisbane and missed another by a whisker following a magnificent 97 in Adelaide. He has since made 2,537 runs in his previous 28 Tests at an average of 57.65 with eight centuries and 15 half-centuries. 

The Test series gives Babar a chance to reinforce his mantle after facing sustained heat and flak in a disappointing period that saw Pakistan stumble to a pre-semifinal exit at the ICC World Cup 2023 under his captaincy before the 29-year-old called it quits from leadership across formats.