India vs Australia, 1st Test: Steve O'Keefe hailed as 'superhero' back home after demolishing hosts

AFP, Feb, 26 2017

Sydney: Steve O'Keefe gave a superhero performance in Australia's stunning three-day first Test win to change the landscape of their series in India, Australia's media said Sunday.

Left-arm spinner O'Keefe, known as 'SOK', captured the identical figures of 6 for 35 in both innings to spin Australia to a massive 333-run win over Test cricket's top-ranked team on a viciously turning track in Pune on Saturday.

It was Australia's first Test win in India since 2004 and ended the hosts' unbeaten streak of 19 Tests in the opening match of the four-Test series.

Steve O'Keefe recorded match figures of 12 for 70, the second-best by a visiting bowler in India behind Ian Botham. AP

Steve O'Keefe recorded match figures of 12 for 70, the second-best by a visiting bowler in India behind Ian Botham. AP

O'Keefe was hailed a hero along with skipper Steve Smith's fighting first century in India and his 10th as Australia's captain.

"Steve O'Keefe led Australia to one of its greatest Test victories on Indian soil with a superhero performance that rewrote the record books and humiliated the shellshocked hosts inside three days," the Sun-Herald said.

"Australia will head to Bangalore for the second Test with genuine belief they can pull off what only a few days ago seemed like mission impossible and win just their second series on these shores since 1969."

The newspaper said such was the crushing nature of Australia's victory that it has changed the landscape of this series.

The Australian newspaper said it was a triumph India's billion-plus people didn’t see coming.

"History has been made. Australia has won its first game in India in almost 13 years. Steve O’Keefe has put his name on an honour board among the very best the game has ever seen and India is in shock," Peter Lalor said.

"A billion plus people didn’t see this coming. A good 20 million plus Australians were of the same mind.

"Nobody outside the camp gave Steve Smith’s men a chance, but they romped it in. The best bit? They beat the Indians at their own game."

The Sunday Telegraph said O'Keefe shattered 84 years of Test history on the sub-continent to pilot Australia to one of their most famous victories.

"Written off as the worst Australian team to ever tour cricket’s most imposing fortress, a great sporting upset is now firmly on the cards," it said.

"O’Keefe's extraordinary match haul of 12-70 now stands alone as the best individual figures by an overseas spinner ever in the sub-continent since the first match India played way back in 1933."

Former Australia Test fast bowler Mitchell Johnson tweeted: "And the coach of India says Steve O'Keefe is "Steady." Well done Steady O'Keefe, keep it up."

Published Date: Feb 26, 2017 | Updated Date: Feb 26, 2017



Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115