Australian media hails "superhero" Steve O'Keefe after dominating win against India
What’s the story?
The Australian cricket team completely dismantled India by 333 runs in the first Test at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium in Pune which ended in just three days. Steve O’Keefe was the man of the match as he picked up his career-best figures of 12-70 in the Test to ensure Australia caused an upset.
"Steve O'Keefe led Australia to one of its greatest Test victories on Indian soil with a superhero performance that rewrote the record books and humiliated the shellshocked hosts inside three days," the Sun-Herald newspaper said.
In case you didn’t know...
Steve O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon spun their side to victory as they picked up all 10 wickets amongst themselves in the 2nd innings of the match. Chasing a massive total of 441, India never got a foothold in the game as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals right from the very beginning of their innings. Cheteswar Pujara high scored with 31 as India were bowled out for 107. O’Keefe picked up six wickets while Lyon bagged four.
O’Keefe picked up identical figures of 6-35 in both the innings of the match and did not allow any of the Indian batsmen to settle down by picking up wickets at regular intervals.
The heart of the matter
Steve o’Keefe began his bowling spell in average fashion as he did not pick up a wicket in the first few overs while bowling from the Pavilion end. However, a change in end resulted in a change of fortune for the 32-year-old. In his third spell of 4.1 overs, O'Keefe had one maiden, gave 5 runs and took 6 wickets that broke India's back. This spell included a single over where he took three wickets.
The Australian media showered praise on O’Keefe and various media publications around the country described his performance as world-class and went on to say that history was made as the Kangaroos defeated India in a Test away from home for the first time in 13 years, and O’Keefe was the one to thank for the historic win.
The two sides will take on each other at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore for the 2nd Test which will begin on 4th March after which they will travel to Ranchi and Dharamsala respectively for the final two Tests.
The Australian media have all the right to glorify O’Keefe’s achievements as it was indeed a superhero performance by the left-arm orthodox bowler. Virat Kohli’s men were completely outplayed in all departments of the game, and they have no one but themselves to blame. The pitch which was supposed to assist the Indian team was made better use of by the Australian spinners, especially O’Keefe.
With the 2nd Test coming up, it will be extremely interesting to see how the pitch plays out, and whether “Superhero” O’Keefe will be able to continue his magical run of form.