O’Keefe happy to remain Lyon’s back-up


Australia spinner Steve O'Keefe may only have one Test under his belt, and is nearly 31, but hopes his chance hasn't come and gone with the abandoned tour to Bangladesh, and hopes he'll remain Nathan Lyon's back-up.

O'Keefe was picked as the second spinner for the tour to Bangladesh, in place of Fawad Ahmed, but the trip was cancelled due to safety concerns. O'Keefe is now looking ahead to the Sri Lanka series next year.

He knows he's not going to overtake Lyon as the Test spinner of choice, but hopes he'll do enough domestically to keep that back-up place, especially of Fawad and others falter.

O’Keefe told Big Sports Breakfast: "That’s where I'm hoping to come in. I was picked as the second spinner for Bangladesh.

"(Next year) with the tour to Sri Lanka, I'd like to think that after a good first class season I'll still be that second spinner.

"Fingers crossed I get that opportunity again. Even if I don't perform and if things don't go well, at least I can say I got that opportunity."

O'Keefe is nearly 31, and says that a spinner just gets better with age, and that he is full of confidence right now after a strong Australia A tour to India earlier in the year.

He added: "It comes down to more bowling. That’s the thing Nathan does as well. The more you bowl, the more experience you have and the better you get, especially with spin bowling.

"I'm 30 years old now with over 50 first class matches and I've had small success over in India A over in different conditions.

"That builds confidence and belief and they're really powerful tools as a cricketer.

"Right now I'm buzzing. I want to keep playing and I want to produce the goods if that opportunity to wear the Baggy Green comes along again."