Oz spinners O'Keefe, Lyon turn to Vettori, Herath for advice before India tour
Steve O'Keefe is one of the four spinners in the Australian squad for the India Test tour. Pic/AFP
Sydney: Nathan Lyon and Steve O'Keefe have sought help from two of Test cricket's greatest spinners ahead of Australia's series in India later this month. The front-line pair approached New Zealand's Daniel Vettori and Australia's chief destroyer in Sri Lanka last year, Rangana Herath, for advice ahead of the four-Test tour, which starts on February 23 in Pune.
Spin greats Daniel Vettori and Rangana Herath.
Between them, left-arm spinners Vettori and Herath have captured more than 700 Test wickets and boast outstanding performances in Asia. "The main things you get away from those guys is challenging the batsman's defence," O'Keefe said. "And if you can continually put the ball in the right area, given these conditions will spin more than what we're used to at home, that will help us. It's about building pressure and not being overawed," he added. "(India) are a class team, they're exceptional batsmen at home and it's going to be a big job."
O'Keefe worked with former England international and fellow left-armer Monty Panesar at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane. "He (Panesar) talked about being able to adapt quickly and on the spot and also being able to take away batsmen's scoring options in regards to boundaries," O'Keefe said of his time working with Panesar.
Australia have strengthened their spin options with the inclusion in the touring party of youngsters Ashton Agar and Mitchell Swepson.