Jon Holland will make his debut in the second Test at Galle © Getty Images
Jon Holland will make his debut in the second Test at Galle © Getty Images

After Stephen O’Keefe’s unfortunate injury against Sri Lanka in the first Test ruled him out for the remainder of the series, Australia announced uncapped Jon Holland as his replacement. And the first thing which Holland did since the call-up was getting his passport renewed. After chairman of selectors Rod Marsh informed him about the situation, the 29-year-old rushed from Brisbane to Melbourne to get the paperwork done, amidst all his nervousness. Now that he is ready to go, he will be expected to play an important part for Australia in their do-or-die second Test at Galle. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Sri Lanka vs Australia 2016, 2nd Test at Galle

Speaking about the funny circumstance, Holland was quoted by ESPNcricinfo as saying, “Rod rang me when I was up in Brisbane, getting ready for Australia A, and told me that SOK [Stephen O’Keefe] was not good and I had to get over here. It was a bit of a surprise, so much of a surprise that I didn’t have a passport ready, so I was a bit nervous.

“I went back to Melbourne, I had to renew it, it had expired. Getting over here, just being around the group it hits home a bit more. I will be a little bit nervous if I do get a chance to play, I have worked hard on my bowling the last couple of years. I am pretty comfortable with where my bowling’s at. Hopefully, if I do get a chance, I can get myself into the game and get a couple of results.”

Holland replaces a player who was very impressive in Australia’s only-tour match, and also in the first Test before injury. O’Keefe was key cog in the bowling unit, taking two wickets as Australia managed to bowl out Sri Lanka for 117. He bowled 16.2 overs in the second innings, before the leaving the field with a hamstring issue. His absence was felt, as the hosts put up 353 on the board.

Despite limping, O’Keefe came out to bat in the second innings, and tried to rescue the situation for the visitors. He played an astonishing 98 deliveries for his 4 runs, and nearly helped his side draw the game. Holland will have a huge task in hand replacing a player who shone with both bat and ball.