Bob Murphy believes Dustin Martin will thrive as Richmond’s stand-in skipper.
The superstar midfielder takes the reins for the first time as Tigers captain for tonight’s Round 13 meeting with Adelaide in the absence of Trent Cotchin and Shane Edwards, who are both sore, while Jack Riewoldt and Alex Rance remain sidelined with long-term injuries.
Asked how Martin will respond to the captaincy, former Western Bulldogs skipper Murphy feels he will set the tone simply by leading by example.
“I think Dustin Martin only knows how to be himself which is such a strength,” Murphy said on SEN’s Whateley.
“If he was to change the way he approaches things, and I imagine he’s more of a symbol than an orator, it would be a bit jarring for his teammates.
“He will just (be), ‘this is the way to do it’. He is where all the eyes will go to in the change room tonight.
“There’ll be little moments (for Richmond players) of like, ‘oooh, okay, I wonder if I’m up to it and I wonder what we serve up tonight’. They will be looking at Dustin Martin.
“I expect him to have a huge night. I think his style and the way he plays, I think he’s built for this situation.
“For a short-term captaincy, I think he’s a perfect fit for it.”
The Tigers go into the Adelaide Oval clash against the Crows with a lengthy injury list which sees them without the likes of David Astbury, Toby Nankervis, Kane Lambert and Jayden Short, along with the aforementioned quartet.
Murphy is unsure whether this scenario will help or hinder the yellow and black.
He added: “The question is, who can harness that spirit of us against the world?
“They are going to turn the game into a game of will instead of a game of tactics and the magnets on the board.
“With Cotchin out, with Riewoldt out, with Edwards out – with so many of their leaders out – can they still harness that feeling?
“Or does the doubt seep in like bore water?
“The start of tonight’s game will be so interesting to see. It will tell us everything, the first 5-10 minutes, of what their appetite for it is and what kind of game it’s going to be.”
Both the Tigers and Crows own a record of 7-5 this season and sit seventh and fifth respectively on the ladder.
Listen to Murphy on Whateley in the player below: