Full name Stephen Norman John O'Keefe
Born December 9, 1984, Malaysia
Current age 32 years 106 days
Major teams Australia, Australia A, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, New South Wales, Sydney Sixers
Playing role Allrounder
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox
Height 1.75 m
Education Hobartville Primary; Richmond High
|Test debut||Australia v Pakistan at Dubai (DSC), Oct 22-26, 2014 scorecard|
|Last Test||India v Australia at Ranchi, Mar 16-20, 2017 scorecard|
|T20I debut||Australia v Pakistan at Birmingham, Jul 6, 2010 scorecard|
|Last T20I||South Africa v Australia at Johannesburg, Oct 16, 2011 scorecard|
|First-class debut||New South Wales v Tasmania at Sydney, Nov 18-20, 2005 scorecard|
|Last First-class||India v Australia at Ranchi, Mar 16-20, 2017 scorecard|
|List A debut||South Australia v New South Wales at Adelaide, Dec 18, 2005 scorecard|
|Last List A||New South Wales v South Australia at Sydney, Oct 25, 2015 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||New South Wales v Tasmania at Sydney, Jan 12, 2009 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Sydney Sixers v Perth Scorchers at Sydney, Dec 27, 2016 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|25, 3/199||Australia||v India||Ranchi||16 Mar 2017||Test # 2256|
|1/40, 4*, 2/36, 2||Australia||v India||Bengaluru||4 Mar 2017||Test # 2251|
|0, 6/35, 6, 6/35||Australia||v India||Pune||23 Feb 2017||Test # 2250|
|8*, 3/101, 19*||Australia||v India A||Mumbai (BS)||17 Feb 2017||FC|
|1*, 3/38, 6/79||NSW U23s||v Vic U23s||Adelaide||23 Jan 2017||Other|
|0*, 1/50, 3/53||Australia||v Pakistan||Sydney||3 Jan 2017||Test # 2245|
|1/23||Syd Sixers||v Scorchers||Sydney||27 Dec 2016||T20|
|1/31, 13||Syd Sixers||v Hurricanes||Sydney||23 Dec 2016||T20|
|1/16||Syd Sixers||v Syd Thunder||Sydney||20 Dec 2016||T20|
|1/107, 12*, 2/6, 3||NSW||v Victoria||Sydney||17 Nov 2016||FC|
For the longest time, it seemed Steve O'Keefe was to be one of the most unfortunate men in Australian cricket in the post-Shane Warne era. As a parade of 13 spinners were tried in the Test team, often with less-than-compelling first-class records, O'Keefe was left to toil away for New South Wales with far superior figures. His opportunity finally came when he was named in Australia's Test squad to play Pakistan in the UAE in 2014, following a summer in which he topped the Sheffield Shield wicket tally with 41 victims at 20.43. A left-arm orthodox bowler and solid lower-order batsman, O'Keefe could no longer be ignored; he had also been the leading Shield spinner in a pace-dominated 2012-13, with 24 wickets at 22.20. But he played only one Test on that UAE tour, then a washed out Test at the SCG against West Indies, then a single Test in Sri Lanka in 2016 before injury ended his tour, then a single Test at the SCG against Pakistan. Four series, four Tests, and no momentum. Finally, everything came together for O'Keefe when he played alongside Nathan Lyon in the first Test against India in Pune in February 2017, and used his accuracy and natural variation to plunder 12 for 70, the best figures ever by a visiting spinner in a Test in India.
The success had been a long time coming for O'Keefe, whose bowling looked innocuous but had been deceptively deadly for many years at first-class level. His initial chance in Australia's team came in seven Twenty20s during the course of 2010 and 2011, but the longer format had always been where he had done his finest work. O'Keefe was born in Malaysia, where his father was working for the air force, and returned home as a toddler and grew into an Australia Under-19 representative in 2003-04. In 2010 he found himself in Australia's Test squad in England to play Pakistan, replacing the injured Nathan Hauritz, but Steven Smith - then viewed as a legspinner more than a batsman - was preferred in the Test team. O'Keefe was well-respected enough by New South Wales to be named the state's captain when Simon Katich stood down early in 2011-12, though he stood down from the captaincy towards the end of 2012-13 to focus on his own game.
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