The world's best batsman is at the crease. India are 43/3 in their chase of a 400+ total in the fourth innings on a rank-turner, but when Virat Kohli is still around, there is always a hint of doubt in the minds of the opposition that the match is still not in their pockets safely.
Steve O' Keefe ambles in around the
But it wasn't supposed to have been this way. This Indian team had been in marauding form
South Africa- Check, New Zealand- check, England- check. Going into the series against Australia, India were on a 19-match unbeaten streak and everyone and his pet dog were not giving Australia the slightest of chances of winning one match in the series.
Two Steves, however, came together to script a magnificent performance for the visitors to end their 13-year drought to win a Test match in India and infuse real hope into dreams of conquering ‘the final frontier 2.0’. While Steven Smith’s performance was expected or at least not-so-surprising, it was Steve O’Keefe’s bowling performance – 12 wickets giving away 70 runs - that proved to be India’s undoing.
The man is no one-day phenomenon though as he is made out to be. The machinations that led to this were set up by Australia long before they landed in India.
Although Indians are known to be the good players of spin, their struggles against quality left-arm spinners are pretty well-documented. In 2012-13, when England trampled India in India for the first time since David Gower’s side of 1984-85, Panesar grabbed 17 wickets at 26.82 and was the perfect ally to Graeme Swann. It was his 11 for 210 in Mumbai that helped transform the series in
Monty obviously had the wisdom to share and Cricket Australia brought him on as
Especially in the second innings when the pitch was doing their bidding, Jadeja was spinning the ball by miles, while O' Keefe looked at spinning it just enough while pitching it up and in the line of the stumps. That's what led to his haul of wickets.
O’Keefe, who was just a marginal selection in the team a year ago, has just enjoyed one of the best days of his life, and in the process, he has given a strong statement to the Indians for sure.