Aussies hold ‘mental edge over England’

England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow (left) after the first Test loss.
England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow (left) after the first Test loss.

FORMER Australian cricketer Kerry O'Keeffe has made a name for himself in the commentary box thanks to his silly tales and inability to finish one without laughing.

Today he delivered another message - however this time, he wasn't laughing.

After Australia handed England a dominant 10-wicket loss, the former leg-spinner who played in 24 Tests let the tourists know what they need to do in order to get back into the Ashes.

"They have to change their thinking about Australia's stars if they're to compete in this series," O'Keeffe said on Triple M's Dead Set Legends.

"When you come to this country, you've got to attack the stars. That's what South Africa did last year; they kept Smith and Warner quiet.

"And that's what England are going to have to do if they're going to level this series and go ahead and retain the Ashes."

With all of the pressure mounting on the shoulders of the travelling Englishmen ahead of the second Test in Adelaide, O'Keeffe gives the mental edge to the Aussies.


"I've played County cricket, I know the English County cricket psychology," O'Keeffe said.

"What it is, the elite players intimidate them and that was so obvious in this first Test. Warner, Smith and Starc are above County cricket level, they're elite.

"They absolutely have it over England mentally."

Having spent the majority of his life surrounded by the game of cricket, O'Keeffe is one of the better judges of talent and he doesn't hold back his amazement when it comes to current skipper, Steve Smith.

"His hand-eye co-ordination is second to Bradman, without question. But he gets into strange positions. If you freeze-frame him at contact, his head is as still as if it were on a stick and that's all you've got to do."

Prior to the opening Test, the selectors stole the headlines thanks to their left-field selections of Shaun Marsh and Tim Paine.

After the performances put forth, the selectors can walk with their heads held high and despite dropping a catch, O'Keeffe gives Paine a big tick.

"Huge plus, the ball disappeared into his gloves on every other occasion."

With the second Test set to get underway in Adelaide on Saturday, the English team will need to make some big changes if they're to get back into the series.