O’Keefe Paints Dire Picture of Current State of Men’s Cricket

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It is not all gloom and doom for Australian men’s cricket following the recent ODI sledging at the hands of the Proteas.

It actually is quite gloomy and doomy, but the word bleak needs including for a more accurate assessment.

That is the perspective of former Australian legspinner Kerry O’Keefe, after witnessing the six-wicket win by South Africa in Perth.

Most of the blame was laid on the batsmen for being bowled out for 152 to ultimately produce the record-setting seventh straight defeat in the ODI format.

Speaking on The Back Page Live, O’Keefe commented, “An out-of-form batting line-up came up against a world class bowling attack. Techniques were exposed. It’s only the first game but there are poor signs.”

He had some remarks to direct at Cricket Australia as well.

“This is as bad as Australian cricket’s got. Head office is in disarray. And I want the players back in that bubble because somehow they’ve got to find something and there weren’t too many good signs on Sunday,” O’Keefe said.

“Sport is all about confidence and they’ve lost confidence, and I just sense talking to Justin Langer that they’re down on confidence.”

Langer was certainly thrown into a sticky morass.

He needs to see signs of life when the series heads to Adelaide for Friday’s encounter. The one certain thing is that Australian cricket supporters do not want to see a dead rubber in Hobart with the Aussies melting like ice cream.

Dale Steyn is the dangerman for the Proteas. The fast bowler took two early wickets in Perth and gained the respect of O’Keefe, who said, “He’s on top of his bowling in his mid-30s. He was unstoppable the other day. He used to bowl inswingers to the left-handers, now he just bowls across them.”

Steyn’s arm should be well rested if needed in Adelaide, but someone needs to remind Australia to bring some really wide bats with them.