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Steve O’Keefe

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I don’t have a problem with Stephen O’Keefe getting the nod for this tour, but I’ve never been convinced he is a test spinner. He has served his time in Shield cricket and has been a proven wicket taker for a few years now with the Blues.

Personally, I always thought SO’K bowls a bit too flat to be effective at test level. There is no doubt that he has definitely worked hard and put some flight into his game. While he has shown that he has the subtle variation to take wickets at Shield level, I was always dubious about if it would transfer successfully against level test batsmen. I guess this is the tour we find out.
I’m really hoping he has success over the three tests. I think with the India tour coming up, it’s important to have an efficient second spinner. He’s 31, knows his game backwards and came away from the UAE learning a lot of lessons. In saying that, if he doesn’t show his skills on this tour, I can see the selectors throwing Zampa on the plane to India as an option if SO’K is getting taken apart early on.
He has just taken ten wickets and top scored in the recent tour match to basically book himself into the first XI. With Lyon having minimal impact so far, O’Keefe has placed himself as a potential match winner.
What is his role in the team for this tour? Easy to say, take wickets, but first and foremost he has to be economical. If he can tie an end up and let Lyon get to work on the other, we will be in good shape. If he is leaking runs, we might as well bring in Bird or another quick to stem the flow and let the strike quicks, in Starc and Hazlewood, chip away from the other.
I think he will make more inroads to this Sri Lankan team than he made into the Pakistan team in the UAE. It’s a team on the rebuild, and he is a better bowler now. But I just have doubts in the back of my mind that he will be capable enough.
Prediction: Play two tests, take a few wickets And book his seat to India.
Statistics Source: ESPNCricinfo
? Is O’Keefe Our Long Term Second Spinner?
O'Keefe PP
RESULT
Yes1 votes ( 33% )
No. 0 votes ( 0% )
Not really, but there is no-one else2 votes ( 67% )
No, Zampa or Turner should be. 0 votes ( 0% )

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