As Australia get ready for their biggest challenge against India, in the subcontinent, some Australian spinners are already having nightmares. This will be O’Keefe’s maiden tour to India, and he is already facing the heat.
Indian batsman on the other hand are masters at tackling spin bowling, from the times of Gundappa Vishwanath to Cheteshwar Pujara. Team India has been blessed in this regard. The first Test against Australia is approximately a fortnight away and the onus is on the Oz spinners to deliver against a team that swears by its batting line-up.
Before coming to India O’Keefe has picked the brains of veterans like Rangana Herath, Daniel Vettori in Dubai. He also recieved advice from former English spinner Monty Panesar as well. The left-arm English spinner was probably the last bowler, who succeeded in India to some extent, that was the last time India lost a Test series on home soil.
Must be said, O’Keefe has picked the right brains for advice.
In a statement to a leading cricket website, O’Keefe said, “He (Monty) talked about being able to adapt really quickly and on the spot and also being able to take away the batter’s scoring options in regards to boundaries. He talks about building pressure through being a little bit defensive, which was something that was refreshing to hear.”
Words of wisdom as they say!
“In that (India) line-up there was plenty of guys who are now playing, and have cemented their spot, in that Indian (Test) team,” he said. “The positive was we got to play against those guys in those conditions, use an SG ball and compete. We did really well, we were able to win a game and draw a game. It was positive to know that we were able to bowl against these guys, we were able to have some success.”
Adding further he said, “I’ll be drawing on that but I also know it’s going to be quite hard. It’s another step up and when these guys are playing for their country they go up another level as well. We’re going to have to match them, if not try and get on top of them if we’re going to win.”