Mark Steketee, Australia’s 27-year-old quick, has received his maiden Test call-up for their upcoming tour to South Africa. Here’s all you need to know about the Queenslander.
What does he do?
Steketee is a tall right-arm fast-bowler who possesses genuine pace and relies more on bounce than movement off the pitch. Having made his first-class debut in 2015, he has taken 144 wickets at 26.77 with 10 four-wicket hauls so far.
Steketee represented Queensland U17 and U19 teams before becoming a regular in the state team.
U19 World Cup and subsequent progress
Steketee was a part of Australia’s U19 World Cup squad in 2012, alongside Travis Head, Cameron Bancroft, Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar among others. He finished with eight wickets from five games in the competition, with his best returns of 3-35 coming in the semi-final against South Africa, where he dismissed Quinton De Kock off his second delivery.
His best Sheffield Shield season came in 2018/19, where he was the fifth-highest wicket-taker with 42 scalps at 20.76.
He has been a prominent feature for the Brisbane Heat at the BBL since his domestic debut in the 2013/14 edition and is currently the team’s all-time leading wicket-taker with 64 scalps at 24.67.
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) December 23, 2020
Steketee is currently the second-highest wicket-taker in the ongoing BBL 2020/21, with 22 wickets at 21.18, only behind Jhye Richardson who has 27. His victims include some well-established big-hitters like Aaron Finch, Alex Carey, Carlos Brathwaite, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Ben Cutting and Colin Ingram.
In the first practice game against the touring India A side in December, Steketee claimed a five-for in the second innings, accounting for a well set Ajinkya Rahane before cleaning up the tail. He returned with two wickets from 16 overs in the second game, dismissing Prithvi Shaw off his third delivery before having Rahane caught behind later in the day.
His great friend and state teammate Marnus Labuschagne recently reserved some high praises for the 27-year-old.
“Me and Stekkers have been actually playing together since we were 12, and he’s developed so much,” Labuschagne said after his own all-round brilliance in Brisbane Heat’s win against Perth Scorchers on Sunday, January 26.
“He has a real hunger and he almost has that little bit of aggression which is great, and he’s performed really well for us in all formats – Shield cricket, one-day cricket and the T20s. He’s a tremendous fighter when he’s out in the field.
“I don’t know which is his best format, I’d have to go and look at the stats sheet and see what that says but I feel like any of the formats he could jump into.”
In January, he earned his maiden Test call-up when he was included in Australia’s 19-member squad for their tour to South Africa, which is likely to be held in March. Steketee will join Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, James Pattinson, Sean Abbott and Michael Neser in the pace attack, which also includes all-rounders Cameron Green and Moises Henriques.