Steve Smith comments on the omission of Steve O’Keefe from the squad
Smith explained the working behind the decision and said that the upcoming Bangladesh tour would be the much needed platform for youngsters like Agar and Swepson to hone their skills on subcontinent pitches.
Published - Aug 21, 2017 7:46 pm | Updated - Aug 21, 2017 7:46 pm
Australian skipper, Steve Smith backed the team management’s decision of dropping Steve O’Keefe from the squad for the upcoming Bangladesh tour and termed the omission as “unlucky”. O’Keefe’s surprise exclusion has created speculation all over and people have been questioning the addition of young Ashton Agar and Mitchell Swepson in his place. Smith explained the working behind the decision and said that the upcoming Bangladesh tour would be the much-needed platform for youngsters like Agar and Swepson to hone their skills on sub-continent pitches.
32-year old O’Keefe had a stellar run with the ball earlier this year when he picked up 19 wickets in four Tests against India. The spectacular performance included a 12-wicket haul in the Pune Test. However, he failed to make it to the national side for the Bangladesh tour, possibly owing to the fact that he might not be around for the next India tour which is 4 years down the line and Australia needs to habituate their young spinners with the sub-continent conditions.
Smith explains the omission of Steve O’Keefe
Elaborating on the omission of his New South Wales teammate, O’Keefe to the Bangladeshi media at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur, Smith said, “It is unlucky. 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 Australian captain added.