NSW v WA, Sheffield Shield, Sydney January 24, 2013

O'Keefe enhances Test claims

ESPNcricinfo staff

Western Australia 9 for 232 (O'Keefe 3-52) v New South Wales
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Granted a glimmer of hope for the tour of India when Michael Beer suffered a shoulder injury at training this week, the New South Wales captain Steve O'Keefe did his cause no harm by nabbing three wickets as Western Australia struggled on day one of the Sheffield Shield match at Blacktown Oval.

Sending Michael Hussey's Warriors in to bat appeared a curious call at first, but O'Keefe winkled out the first wicket, that of Marcus Harris, and added two more to ensure the hosts ended the day in control of proceedings.

As significantly, O'Keefe impressed observers with his control and subtle variations, in what was perhaps his most convincing spell at the bowling crease all season. Given the circumstances, this was a strong sign for the national selectors.

It was a well-rounded display by the Blues, for all five bowlers picked up wickets, including Moises Henriques, who arrived after the game had commenced due to his early flight from Hobart where on Wednesday night he had helped Australia to an ODI series tying victory over Sri Lanka.

WA's batsmen struggled for rhythm and occupation in the first match since the end of the BBL, no-one passing 50 despite a quintet of starts. Hussey managed 29 before becoming a victim of Chris Tremain, playing his second first-class match after a debut late last season.

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  • Andrew on January 25, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    @ brendon_edward on (January 24 2013, 23:39 PM GMT) - dunno whether India's bowling will cause many collapses though.

  • Mark on January 25, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    If you had a bowling lineup of Henriques, O'Keefe, Siddle/Pattinson, Starc/Johnson, Lyon. You would have 5 bowlers, including 2 spinners without really weakening the batting. I would like to say Steve Smith instead of O'Keefe, but his bowling has really stalled in the last couple of years. Was showing a lot of improvement and then he seems to have stopped working on it to concentrate on his batting, but has no real form with the bat either.

  • Mark on January 25, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    O'Keefe was the leading wicket taker and leading run scorer against England in the tour match last time they were here and I was amazed that they didn't give him a run. From memory they tried Doherty and Beer instead. Selectors even ignored Hauritz who had taken a 5 wicket haul and scored a century in the last shield match at the WACA and they went for Beer because it was his home ground (even though he had only played there 2-3 times) that series I think. I have no faith in the selectors when it comes to spinners.

    Having said that, I don't think Lyon deserves to be dropped. His figures would be much better this summer if Wade wasn't in such horrible form with the gloves.

    For India I think SOK and Lyon should bowl with 2 quicks and Henriques. Henriques has been in great form this year and I think he will bowl well in Indian conditions. The batsmen will target him, which will work in his advantage. I give Henriques the start ahead of Watson because Watson can't bowl many overs.

  • Andrew on January 25, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    @Chris_P on (January 24 2013, 21:08 PM GMT) - just purely food for thought, but had the Chairmans XI match against SL recently been deemed a FC ficture, Scott Henry would currently have a FC ave of 40! At the moment - mid 20s.

  • Andrew on January 24, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    @mick82 on (January 24 2013, 21:54 PM GMT) - Zampa already has bowled an over on his debut, & given Zampa is not playing I doubt that any captain could legally ask him to bowl!

  • Graham on January 24, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    Front-Foot-Lunge; I suggest you look at Swanns average in the Ashes victory in australia. His main contribution was the sprinkler dance. Lyons statistics match up very well against Swann's so the comparison will be made. He certainly performed better against SOuth Africa than Swann. The majority of Lyons tests have been in Australia where no current spinner in the world has a great record.

  • Andrew on January 24, 2013, 23:27 GMT

    @Liquefierrrr on (January 24 2013, 22:12 PM GMT) - i also find it hilarious that FFL forgot that one of our "club-standard" spinners (Hauritz), outbowled Swann in the 2009 Ashes in head to head matches. Actually you could even say, he outbowled Swann & Monty combined in 09! I think it is fabulous you got under his skin, good work, but I still prefer to ignore him.