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Holland deserved Test spot: Hastings

06 September 2017

Jon Holland was overlooked to replace Josh Hazlewood // Getty

Cricket Network

Cricket Network

Steve O'Keefe was John Hastings' best man, but the Victorian allrounder believes his state teammate deserved a Bangladesh recall

Allrounder John Hastings says Jon Holland deserved to be called into Australia's Test squad ahead of Steve O'Keefe for the second and final Test in Chittagong.

O'Keefe was a handed a shock recall to the Test squad in Bangladesh last week as a replacement for injured quick Josh Hazlewood, ahead of Holland despite the Victorian's star turn during Australia's warm-up match in Darwin late last month where he captured four wickets in the space of 11 balls.

Despite his close friendship with O'Keefe – who was best man at Hastings' wedding – the Victorian was honest in his appraisal of the selectors' decision to recall the NSW spinner, who is currently serving a suspension from his state for making "highly inappropriate comments" in an alcohol-fuelled incident in April.

"I really feel for (Holland), Hastings told RSN radio. "Steve O'Keefe was best man at my wedding so I'm rapt for him, but he by all rights he probably doesn't deserve to be there."

"He's suspended by NSW cricket and he's over playing for Australia. It's an interesting one that one."

Day wrap: Aussies defy heat, Bangladesh bowlers on day two

Ashton Agar was given the nod ahead of both O'Keefe and Holland for the Qantas Tour of Bangladesh, despite Holland being the most successful spinner last Sheffield Shield season, taking 50 wickets at 20.78.

His two appearances in the Baggy Green to date came during Australia's 3-0 defeat in Sri Lanka last year, when he was rushed into the squad as an injury replacement for O'Keefe.

"I don't think Jon Holland can do any more than what he has done over the last few years," Hastings said.

"Last year he was prolific for the Bushrangers. He went up to Darwin, got four or five for one in a spell.

"I honestly don't know what the selectors could be saying to him, if anything. It's just unbelievable."

Handscomb fights on in oppressive heat

O'Keefe, who was not part of Australia's pre-Bangladesh training camp in Darwin, bowled 23 wicketless overs for 79 runs as Australia dismissed Bangladesh for 305 in the first innings in Chittagong.

And Hastings believes O'Keefe's limited preparation – having not played a competitive match since the fourth Test of the Border-Gavaskar trophy in March – has hurt the spinner.

"He's coming in with no game time, it's a massive ask for someone to come in with little to no preparation in matches," Hastings said.

But Hastings doesn't expect Holland to waste time feeling sorry for himself despite his selection snub.

"He's not the type of bloke to sit back and feel sorry for himself … he'll fight and come back hard and do what he normally does," Hastings said.

"He's as fit as I've ever seen him. Most of the Bushrangers are. The type of character he is, he'll do everything this season and keep showing them he should be there."

Lyon bags seven as Bangladesh post 305

Hastings also offered an update on his own fitness, after his English county cricket season was cut short due to a foot injury.

The allrounder was subsequently left out of Australia's limited-overs squads for the upcoming tour of India, but Hastings is optimistic he'll be fit and firing for Victoria when the JLT One-Day Cup gets underway later this month.

"I've only had three-and-a-half weeks off bowling and two of those were in the moon boot," he said.

"So there's not much load to get back up, I've pretty much started running and bowling straight away.

"I'll just pick up where I left off and get back into it and hopefully be right for that JLT One-Day Cup."

Australia in Bangladesh 2017

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Steve O'Keefe, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade.

Bangladesh squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (c), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Liton Das, Taskin Ahmed, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Taijul Islam, Mominul Haque.

27-31 August First Test, Dhaka, Bangladesh won by 20 runs

4-8 September Second Test, Chittagong