'Shunned' Oz off-spinner O'Keefe still hoping to earn debut baggy green

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 01, 2013 07:20 hrs

Australian off-spinner Steve O'Keefe, who was controversially overlooked for the Test squad touring India, has claimed he would try to perform more consistently in domestic cricket to force selectors to pick him in the Test team.

O'Keefe is the leading Sheffield Shield spinner this summer, taking 17 wickets at 26.76, but strangely lost out to left-arm rival Xavier Doherty, who has just two Shield scalps at 80, and t he 28-year-old's first-class batting average (30.37) is also superior to Doherty's (13.34), News.com.au reports.

Speculation has suggested a personality clash has left O'Keefe out of favour with influential CA powerbrokers, but the spinner claimed he is unaware of any toxic tensions.

O'Keefe said if has got someone offside the he is more than happy to work hard to improve, adding as it stands he hasn't heard a thing yet.

The off-spinner added if there is an issue with him, good, bad or indifferent, then he is willing to hear it and cop it on the chin, adding he has the belief that if he gets the chance to play Test cricket then he would be able to do well.

O'Keefe added clearly he has to get more wickets and keep performing, adding to play for Australia you have to be performing consistently and he feels he is doing that.

O'Keefe, who has played seven Twenty20 games for Australia, is refusing to give up hope of wearing the baggy green, and he claimed with each passing year, he feels he is improving, adding he would love the chance to show his wares at Test level.

He added given the landscape of spinners he certainly is disappointed not to be in India, and he further said that he would never know unless he gets a chance.

O'Keefe said he backs his ability at Shield level and if he was given an opportunity he feels he would be ready to back my strengths. (ANI)

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