Steve O'Keefe-(left) and Mitch Marsh at the Souk Al Bahar in Dubai during a photo call on Monday © Getty Images
Steve O’Keefe-(left) and Mitch Marsh at the Souk Al Bahar in Dubai during a photo call on Monday © Getty Images

Oct 20, 2014

Australia captain Michael Clarke has hinted that all-rounder Mitchell Marsh and spinner Steve O’Keefe are likely to make their Test debuts for the opening game against Pakistan.

Clarke wrote in the The Daily Telegraph, “Assuming he’s fit, Mitch is a big chance of earning his Test debut against Pakistan this week. Should that happen, you just know he’ll be the kind of guy to treasure the baggy green. He has an extremely bright future. So, too, does Steven O’Keefe. Steve is another who is a big chance to make his Test debut this week.”

“His selection would be a fitting reward for the years of toil he has put in at first-class level. He is a player who, as he has matured, has really come to understand his game and play to his strengths,” Clarke continued.

The Australian captain said O’Keefe will form a strong spin attack with Nathan Lyon.

Clarke wrote, “He looked good in the practice games and I reckon he’d be a strong contributor in a two-man spin attack alongside Nathan Lyon. From what we’ve seen of the conditions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) so far, two spinners is a serious option.”

“The injury news around the group is positive at this stage. Davey Warner looks to have overcome his groin injury and my hamstring held up well throughout the tour game,” he added.

Clarke said he is not reading much into the failure in the tour game against Pakistan A, but is glad with the fitness.

“I would’ve liked to score some more runs, but I was nonetheless encouraged to have got through two solid days in the field without experiencing any pain. It’s all coming together for what should be a very exciting week,” he wrote.