Chennai: After getting a peek at international cricket last season when he played a few T20 games for Australia and subsequently was in the Test squad but never got a game, left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe has reconciled to his fickle fortune while striving to help New South Wales (NSW) Blues regain the Champions League title.
At 26, the Malaysia-born Aussie has been through the gamut of highs and lows, but is hoping for a turnaround, especially after being in the Kochi Tuskers team in the 2011 IPL, only to find that the franchise has been dropped from the lucrative T20 competition.
O'Keefe believes that he is well-equipped to spearhead NSW's spin attack and even open the proceedings if required.
A file phot of Australia and New South Wales all-rounder Steve O'keefe
"I have had quite a few cracks at it. I played in Sri Lanka and bowled early in a couple of games and from that experience, if the situation comes across, we have got a great young bowling attack," he said.
Looking back on his cricket career during which O'Keefe led the Blues team on a couple of occasions, he said he would make the best of opportunities that come his way.
"I feel very privileged. Only a couple of years ago, I wasn't in the mix and was considering a couple of other career options and every opportunity I am going to try and grab it with both hands.
O'Keefe reflected on the challenges of bowling in the sub-continent and the changes he needed to make in his craft to be more effective.
"I feel it is completely different to bowl on the sub-continental wickets. Spin's tradition in Australia is to try and toss the ball up and a get enough shape on the ball and drift.
"Here, it is a lot more scrambled thing. You bowl a lot more into the wicket. Traditionally I try and drift the ball as much, which I find here quite challenging.
"But you got to be able to bowl in all conditions that are presented to you, so I am trying to develop that by practising bowling on these Chennai wickets," he said.