Steve O’Keefe ruled out of action for six weeks due to broken finger
Nathan Lyon is also struggling with a sore shoulder and was rested for the clash against Victoria on Sunday.
Updated - Oct 16, 2017 1:29 pm
Steve O’Keefe, the left-arm spinner of Australia, has been ruled out of competitive cricket for next six weeks due to injury to his finger. The news is a major blow for the cricketer ahead of the Ashes which is all set to start from November 23. He was the part of the squad for the second Test when Australia played Bangladesh in their own den. However, he was picked as the replacement for injured Josh Hazlewood who is also recovering from an injury.
O’Keefe was the hero for Australia on their tour to India earlier this year when he had single-handedly won them the first of the four-match Test series in Pune. His slow left-arm spin bowling had bamboozled the star-studded Indian batting line-up and he scalped 12 wickets in the match to script a historic win. However, they couldn’t register a single victory in the series after that and lost by 2-1. Even the performance of O’Keefe degraded as Virat Kohli led side played him out easily in the subsequent games.
Lyon also injured?
As Steve O’Keefe is now injured, he is ruled out of the first three rounds of Sheffield Shield season. The selectors have already made it clear that the performance in the domestic tournament would earn few players a place in the Ashes squad. Now it is highly unlikely that the 32-year-old would be picked even if he is fit. But they are currently lacking the spin bowling resources in the country as Ashton Agar and Jon Holland, the possible front-runners are injured as well.
While Agar sustained an injury to his finger while fielding in one of the ODIs in India, Jon Holland underwent a knee surgery for “wear and tear” and was subsequently ruled out of the JLT One-Day Cup. Meanwhile, spinner Nathan Lyon too was ruled out of the New South Wales’ clash with Victoria on Sunday due to a sore shoulder. But the team management has played down the seriousness of the spinner’s injury by describing his absence as “precautionary. “