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The moment O'Keefe knew he belonged

Cricket

It was by no means the best delivery he has ever bowled but thanks to a smart snatch from Joe Burns, Stephen O’Keefe feels he belongs at Test level.

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O’Keefe claimed the crucial wicket of Jason Holder in his first home Test in the third Test against West Indies at the SCG on Sunday.

Windies skipper Holder has managed to hold the Australians at bay with the bat through much of the series thus far, but that wasn’t the case in Sydney as O’Keefe joined fellow fingerspinner Nathan Lyon in Australia’s bowling attack.

It was a just reward for O’Keefe who has been on the fringe of Australia selection for several years but has previously played just the single Test against Pakistan in Dubai in 2014.

“It’s probably not the style of wicket that I’d like to take – a half-volley middled off his pads straight into Joe Burns’ hand, but I enjoyed it,” O’Keefe said.

“You’ve always got that doubt when you play a Test match, whether you’re going to contribute or not. It was a nice feeling and what a hell of a catch.”

Australia’s advance into the Windies batting line-up was stalled on Monday at the SCG when just 11.2 overs were bowled.

But two rain-affected days haven’t dampened O’Keefe’s spirits.

“It’s all about perspective,” he said.

“I’m really excited to be here and sharing the changeroom with 10 other guys that I really look up to as cricketers.

“I want to play five days. but if rained for a couple of days, it really wouldn’t bother me. The fact that I’m here and able to walk out onto that field and share it with my teammates is really special…to be able to get a win, which I think we’re able to do in he next three days, would be even better.”

-AAP

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