The inclusion of Steve O’Keefe in the Australian squad for the second Test against Bangladesh is good thing for the visitors and they can play three spinners if they like in the game, captain Steve Smith revealed on Sunday, on the eve of the second Test in Chittagong.
“Saw it (the pitch) briefly yesterday (Saturday). I think it won’t bounce quite as much as the wicket in Dhaka and I think it will take spin as the game goes on. Maybe not as much turn from Day 1, but I don’t judge wickets very well, so who knows,” Smith was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz on Sunday.
“The inclusion of O’Keefe into the squad is a good one. It gives us the option to play three spinners if we like. Obviously, Bangladesh did that against us last week. If the wicket is spinning, it’s really a good option and there is a possibility we go with that,” he said.
O’Keefe was included in the squad after pacer Josh Hazlewood was ruled out of the series due to a side strain. Nathan Lyon is the lead spinner in the team with youngster Ashton Agar begin the second spinner. Smith did not rule out the possibility of playing O’Keefe as well.
Smith also rued the fact they did not get much time to practice and it would have been “nice” had Australia played a practice game before the Test.
“It would have been nice if we had played the practice match, that’s for sure,” Smith said. “I am not holding it as an excuse. We still have to come out and do a job in a Test match and we want to play as well as we can. We were outplayed by Bangladesh, so yes it is relevant we could not play the practice match. We had a bit of discussion, but we are not going to name it until the toss.
“We need to have another look at the wicket. It’s under covers at the moment. It’s still raining, so haven’t had the chance to do that yet. I don’t think the forecast is great for the first day tomorrow. Hopefully, we get a chance to look at the wicket today and have a sort of clear idea with the way we go ahead,” he noted.
After the 20-run defeat in the first Test, Australia’s first ever defeat to Bangladesh in the longest format, Smith said that they need to improve.
“Our first innings batting really let us down, to be behind by 50-odd wasn’t good enough. You have to try and get in front of the game if you need to bat last. Our first innings let us down. We weren’t able to form enough partnerships; no one got big score for us.
“There is always pressure in international cricket, no matter what the scoreline is. Obviously, we are down 1-0 in the series and we need to win this Test match to level the series, so we have got to come out and play a lot better than we did last week. Obviously, Bangladesh are full of confidence after the way they played last week,” he concluded.