Australia stand-in spinner Todd Murphy expects to be targeted by the England team and home fans alike in the third Ashes Test at Headingley starting on Thursday.
Murphy is set to come into the side after off-spinner Nathan Lyon, playing his 100th consecutive Test, suffered a tour-ending calf injury during Australia’s 43-run win at Lord’s.
Australia have arrived in Leeds 2-0 up in the five-match series and needing one win for their first Ashes campaign triumph in England in 22 years.
But the fall-out from Jonny Bairstow’s controversial dismissal at Lord’s, where the England batsman was given out stumped even though he thought the ball was ‘dead’ at the end of the over, means Australia can expect to face an even more raucous atmosphere than usual at the Yorkshireman’s home ground.
For Murphy, a 22-year-old with just 12 first-class appearances and four Tests behind him, it promises to be a new experience but one he has done his best to prepare for after watching England’s efforts to attack Lyon in the opening two matches of the series at Edgbaston and Lord’s.
“I think they’ll probably come even harder at me,” he told reporters at Headingley on Tuesday.
“Obviously, I haven’t played a hell of a lot of Test cricket so it’s a challenge that presents itself. They’re going to keep taking the game on.
“I think it’s just about trying to navigate through that and come up with a few different ideas potentially.
“I’ve never been to England before, so it’s all quite new.”
Murphy is ready for a rather more hostile environment than the one he experienced during his four previous Tests, all during Australia’s tour of India earlier this year.
“I think this might be a bit different to the Indian crowd,” he said. “They made a lot of noise, but they were all quite friendly. From speaking to the boys, this is probably the most hostile ground you get in England and I’m quite looking forward to it if I do get the opportunity.
“I’ve always grown up watching Ashes cricket and love what the Barmy Army bring to the game. I’m sure they won’t hold back. But I’ll just embrace it and try and have a good time with it. It’s all in good fun.”
© Agence France-Presse