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Steve O'Keefe cites example of Indian spin attack to boost Australia's preparation for Tests in sub-continent

Former Australia spinner Steve O'Keefe feels the side needs to "start looking at playing three spinners" in Tests whenever the team from Down Under plays in the sub-continent.
Steve O'Keefe cites example of Indian spin attack to boost Australia's preparation for Tests in sub-continent(REUTERS)
Published on Aug 09, 2021 02:31 PM IST
ANI |

Former Australia spinner Steve O'Keefe feels the side needs to "start looking at playing three spinners" in Tests whenever the team from Down Under plays in the sub-continent.

Australia is slated to lock horns against India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka next year. The Tim Paine-led side will tour Pakistan for the first time since 1998.

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"I think we're in as good a place as we've ever been from a bowling point of view. With Ashton batting as well as he is, you could play all three," cricket.com.au quoted O'Keefe as saying.

"I think we need to start looking at three spinners as well as a quick and a medium pacer. That would be my five bowling options in some of the conditions you encounter over there," he added.

O'Keefe, who scalped a match-winning haul of 14 wickets in 2017 against the Virat Kohli-led side in India, cited the example for Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja bowling in tandem for India.

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"Players in the sub-continent will prey on any loose deliveries ... and that's hard with leg-spin because you've got to be so accurate to build pressure," O'Keefe said.

"But the beauty of playing Nathan Lyon with Ashton Agar or if you went with all three, Nathan is an attacking, over-the-top spin bowler who can be aggressive, then someone like Ashton could really control (the game) and bring the run rate down to two or three an over.

"When you look at the Indian spinners (Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja) bowling well, that's genuinely how they work ... one will contain and one will be the wicket-taker.

"So I think it's important for those guys to get some opportunities to bowl together, whether that's in some lead-up games for Aussie A or tour games over there, to get the synergy right of bowling together. I think they'll have success," he added.

Meanwhile, O'Keefe on Monday extended his contract with Sydney Sixers for another season of the Big Bash League (BBL).

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