Smith defenses O’Keefe’s exclusion from Bangladesh tour
Aussie skipper Steven Smith has taken the side of the management committee on the decision to replace Steve O’Keefe with a young spinner and to heat up young Mitchell Swepson would be beneficial for the Aussies on the India tour and four years from now.
The Australian selectors surprised all by replacing O’Keefe despite his good show up. O’Keefe performed extremely well in his tour to India where he helped his squad to win a challenge over India at Pune getting a massive victory of 333 runs.
He took six wickets on that match. Later on the role got harder for him where Nathan Lyon became the root of all wicket takers.
The Aussie skipper believes that it is time for them to ripe up a good spinner who couldn’t show up on the India series last time and would be a big output for them in the future run.
According to Smith’s interview with cricket.com.au he stated that O’Keefe did well in his tour to India and grabbed the attention of his skipper whereas he could have taken the wickets of some.
He also stated that now it is a good time to move on to someone else and Ashton Agar is getting the chance.
Another fact to drop O’Keefe is that he might have grown a bit older as he is 32 now and wouldn’t be that much handy like Agar or someone else for the four years run. Though it is tough to say whether his career would come to an end or not after this replacement.
O’Keefe’s first class record with 244 wickets at 23.77 is significantly better than those of Agar (114 wickets at 40.24) and Swepson (41 wickets at 32.82) but Australia’s big call has to serve as a damning verdict of O’Keefe’s eight-match Test career.
Smith added, “(Agar) has been around for a while now and it’s another chance for him to have a crack in spin-friendly conditions and hopefully he can go really well for us.”
”I have (spoken to O’Keefe) and he was disappointed, which is fair enough. He understands where we’re heading. He’s getting a bit older now and our next tour back to India is in four years’ time and we’ve got to find the right group of guys that are going to be there for that series. That’s going to be an important one for us so hopefully we can continue to develop a few players in the meantime,” Smith said.