Australia v India Tests
SOK delivers after Warne's 'safe' jibe
Steve O'Keefe bags three wickets in an over as Australia's spinners break open the first Test in Pune
24 February 2017, 10:00 PM AEST
Decried as a conservative selection by Shane Warne, Steve O'Keefe has produced an astonishing six-wicket haul in Pune that put even the legendary legspinner in the shade.
O'Keefe is not a big turner of the ball but his subtlety may prove the catalyst for Australia's first Test win in India since 2004.
The left-arm spinner bamboozled India in record-breaking fashion on Friday, grabbing 6-5 in the space of 24 balls, including three wickets in a single over.
India's collapse of 7-11 amid the chaos was their worst seven-wicket collapse in history.
O'Keefe, who feared his international career was over after returning from Sri Lanka with a hamstring injury last year, speculated this tour could be career defining.
Quick Single: Thirty-eight minutes of carnage in Pune
And after just 13.1 overs, it's already that.
The 32-year-old's figures of 6-35 are better than Warne's best haul from nine Tests in India, the 6-125 he achieved in Chennai during Australia's breakthrough series win in 2004.
Warne, speaking on Star Sports on Friday morning, questioned why selectors didn't pick Mitchell Swepson or Ashton Agar ahead of O'Keefe in Australia's XI.
"O'Keefe is the safe option because you know he's not going to bowl much rubbish," Warne said.
"You don't see him as a huge danger with big-turning deliveries. He bowls tight.
"In these conditions, guys like Swepson and Agar could have been more of a danger option."
After O'Keefe was added to the squad for last month's SCG Test, Warne also remarked: "To me he is more of a white-ball bowler".
But the spin king changed his tune after O'Keefe's stunning performance, crediting a change of ends for triggering the left-armer's incredible spell.
"He wasn't bowling that well earlier and the change of ends worked," Warne told Star Sports.
"He found his mojo and away he went, six-fer and knocked over the Indians.
What an amazing day here in Pune. Great cricket to watch & congrats to SOK who found his mojo after switching ends - awesome ! ✔👊🎉👍— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) February 24, 2017
"He was always going to play a big role on this sort of surface and didn't he ever.
"I don't think in his wildest dreams he would have imagined it would go this well – none of us did – but well done to Stephen O'Keefe."
O'Keefe's golden run in Pune started when KL Rahul, who scored 64 runs in India's total of 105, was caught in the deep by David Warner.
Ravindra Jadeja also went down swinging, while Matthew Wade completed a sharp stumping to dismiss Jayant Yadav.
O'Keefe's other three victims - Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha and Umesh Yadav - were all caught in the slips.