O'Keefe lauds influence of Sriram

O'Keefe lauds influence of Sriram

 Steve O’Keefe perhaps would have pinched himself several times to confirm what had transpired in a blink-and-miss kind of play on Friday.

The left-arm spinner triggered a dramatic Indian collapse with his maiden Test five-wicket haul (6/35) to put Australia in command of the first Test. It took O’Keefe no more than 23 balls in the post-lunch session to claim all his six wickets as India were all out for 105. 

“No, it's amazing how things can quickly change over here,” said O’Keefe when asked if he had experienced anything like this before. “I was none of 30 off nine, probably didn't bowl very well at all in my first, sort of, six overs. And then, it all just happened really quickly, and I guess that's the sort of wicket it is. We played and missed at a lot of balls and fortunately for us, they nicked them and we caught them. So it was a good day to be a part of and well finished off by the batters,” he gushed.

For O’Keefe the extraordinary events of the afternoon were still to sink in. “I think it will (sink in) if that (performance) contributes to a win. Right now, we'll enjoy. We had a good day, but that's all it is. It was a good day's cricket. We all know how good this Indian team is, how well they can bat, and even in spinning conditions they are exceptional players. They're all match winners. We are (almost) 300 ahead, let's get more and let's create 10 chances tomorrow and hold on to it.”

O’Keefe also acknowledged the help of former India left-arm spinning all-rounder Sridharan Sriram, who is a spin consultant to the Australian team for this series, and former England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar in developing his skills. “Monty’s been excellent when I got to work with him,” he began. “It was only two days, but he instilled a bit of belief in what I was doing and it was good to chat with him. I think the biggest influence has been Sri. I’ve worked with him in Chennai in the ‘A’ series. He has been the biggest help along with the other coaching staff.”

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