Sydney: Australia off-spinner Steve O’Keefe revealed that dismissing Virat Kohli in the first Test of the 2017 Border-Gavaskar Trophy at Pune is his favourite dismissal from the longest format of the game. In that match, O’Keefe scalped 6/35 in both innings, finishing with overall figures of 12/70 as Australia won by a whopping 333 runs.
“My most memorable (wicket) was probably Virat Kohli in India. I knocked him over, we were playing on this absolute dust bowl of a wicket, it was spinning and ragging sideways. It was an absolute tip of a wicket, junk. Ravi Shastri described the wicket of having dermatitis, it was that bad, it had holes in it,” O’Keefe said on SEN 1170 The Run Home show.
O’Keefe, who played just nine Tests for Australia, revealed what he did to bamboozle the Indian batters on a minefield of a pitch. “The Indian spinners came out in the first innings and were just spinning it wildly, going to second slip, bouncing off the middle — they were going everywhere. Then I went out and put less revs (on the ball) than the world does a day, and they’re just sliding on, I’m just getting LBWs with these non-turners.”
Talking about his reaction when Kohli shaped to leave his delivery but lost his wicket as the ball came in to hit the stumps, O’Keefe remarked, “To top it off, Virat just lets this ball go, it pitches outside off, and I’m meant to be spinning the ball (away) towards first or second slip. This thing just continued on with the angle, I’m trying to spin it and it’s knocked out off-stump so I’m like, ‘You beauty!’.”
After playing the main architect in a sensational win at Pune, O’Keefe couldn’t replicate the performances in the next three matches as India won 2-1. He signed off by saying that he was looking for the five-for balls from Pune during the final Test in Dharamsala.
“They gave me the ball at the end of that for a five-for. I said, ‘Boys, I don’t want the ball, there’s no need to give it to me, if you’re going to keep giving me these balls after five-fors we won’t have anything left to train with’. That was after the first Test, but in the middle of the fourth Test when I had five more wickets at 300, I was asking, ‘Where’s that ball at?’.”