O’Keefe-omission unlucky: Smith
Australia skipper Steve Smith has stated left-arm orthodox spinner Steve O’Keefe’s omission from the squad for the Bangladesh tour as ‘unlucky’.
Smith’s New South Wales team-mate O’Keefe had put on standout performance in India when he took 19 wickets in four Tests this year. He took 12 wickets in the Pune Test to catch eyes of everyone.
Australia picked Ashton Agar ahead of 32-year-old O’Keefe. Smith has described this change as an opportunity for Agar to get experience as the Aussie captain targets success in 2021 India tour.
“It is unlucky,” Smith replied to Bangladeshi media at Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur.
“He did very well in the first Test match in India and had some contributions throughout in the other three Test matches as well.
“We just see it as a bit of a time to get us someone new into the group.
“Ashton has been around the group for a quite a while now, he’s worked on his art and he’s becoming a lot more consistent in what he’s doing. It’d be fantastic to see him get an opportunity.
“It’s four years until we next go to India which is always a tough tour for us and one that I particularly as captain want to win (at some stage) throughout my tenure.
“It’s an opportunity for Ashton to get some experience in these conditions and hopefully improve, with an eye to the next time we go to India as well.”
The 23-year-old Agar has only played two Tests in his career. He is one of the three main spinners in the 14-man squad alongside Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Swepson.
-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com