Steve O'Keefe takes Hauritz's spot in Test squad

Steve O'Keefe's dramatic rise from New South Wales fringe player has continued with him replacing Nathan Hauritz in Australia's Test squad for the two games against Pakistan. O'Keefe, a left-arm spinner, impressed with nine wickets in Australia A's two matches with Sri Lanka A over the past two weeks to gain an unexpected promotion. Nathan Hauritz was sent home with a foot injury suffered in the opening ODI against England, leaving the legspinner Steven Smith to eye a Test debut in the opening match at Lord's from July 13. O'Keefe, 25, is also from New South Wales and he stood out in the opening "A" fixture this month by taking 7 for 35 and scoring 61 and 47. Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said O'Keefe deserved his chance. "Stephen has performed strongly in the recent Australia A series against Sri Lanka A in Queensland and is a good young all-round cricketer," he said. However, he has played only eight first-class matches and was a surprise selection for Australia A, gaining a spot while Victoria's Jon Holland and Tasmania's Jason Krejza had off-season surgery. O'Keefe was born in Malaysia and spent two years there before his father, who worked for the Royal Australian Air Force, was posted back home. When he spoke to Cricinfo last week O'Keefe said he was hoping the "A" series would set him up for next summer at New South Wales, where he is one of seven slow bowlers fighting for a spot. "From my point of view I can't really rest, knowing those guys are around," he said. "A couple have played Test cricket, one will, there are some young guys, who knows how good they could be?" O'Keefe is now an outside chance to show his wares to the wider world. Source:Cricket News Image Source:Cricinfo