Would be really surprised if Cummins comes out to bowl in three or four days, says O'Keefe

New Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS) Former Australia off-spinner Steve O’Keefe believes that he would be really surprised if captain and fast-bowler Pat Cummins comes out to bowl in the second Test against the West Indies at Adelaide Oval after sustaining a quad injury in the series opener at Perth.

In Australia’s hard-fought 164 run-win over a gritty West Indies, Cummins did not take the field on day four due to mild quad soreness as Steve Smith captained the side. He had claimed 3/34 from 20.2 overs in the first innings, and also reached 200 Test wickets.

Eventually, he did not bowl at all in the second innings as off-spinner Nathan Lyon’s 6/128 in 42.5 overs gave Australia 1-0 lead in the two-match series. With the Adelaide Test from December 8, Cummins is in a real race against time for the match.

“I’d suggest no. If you can’t get through that game, I’d be really surprised that in three or four days, (Cummins) was able to come out and bowl. If he’s only bowling at 75 per cent in Adelaide, there are plenty of guys bowling at 100 per cent,” said O’Keefe on SEN 1170 Mornings show.

Right after the series against West Indies, Australia will square off against South Africa in a three-match series at home. Moreover, on Monday, uncapped Western Australia tearaway quick Lance Morris and pacer Michael Neser were added to Australia’s squad for the Adelaide Test, with one of them entering the playing eleven if Cummins is unfit to play.

“We are embarrassed with the riches of quick bowlers we have in this country. Given there’s so much Test cricket over the next 18 months including another three against South Africa… it might be worth giving him a spell.”

“What might be a week turnaround for him now, if he goes out and blows it out, it could then be a month or six weeks. They’ve got the capable hands of Steve Smith who can lead the team (and) it won’t be the first time something like this will happen with Pat (because) fast bowlers are more susceptible to injury,” added O’Keefe, who played nine Tests for Australia.

O’Keefe was also in praise of Lyon, who took his 21st five-wicket haul in Tests and his fifth in the fourth innings of a match, to be the eighth leading wicket-taker in the longest format of the game with 446 scalps.

“Nathan Lyon taking six-for on that wicket, what a phenomenal effort. In trying conditions, to push his team and lead his team and show why he’s world class. That to me is good stuff.”



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