The left-arm orthodox spinner Stephen O'Keefe is no more available for the Sydney Sixers, as the Cricket Australia has pulled out him from the ongoing Big Bash League to give him more practice time with the red ball ahead of the tour of India.
Sydney Sixers will play against Melbourne Renegades tonight, for which O'Keefe was named alongside senior spinner Nathan Lyon but he will now focus on the tough Indian tour.
Pat Howard, Executive General Manager of Team Performance of Cricket Australia, feels that the left-arm orthodox spinner needs more practice with the red ball.
He said, "Post the Sri Lanka tour last year we have been in talks with Cricket NSW and Steve on the best way for him to prepare for the tour of India,"
Howard further stated, "After his recent injuries, which have caused him to miss Sheffield Shield matches this season, he has had a lot less red ball match practice than other players that are likely to tour India and it is important he gets as much bowling in the format he is going to play.”
He also added, “His focus will now be on Grade and Futures League cricket before likely being one of the first players to depart for Dubai (camp ahead of India tour) in late January."
The visitors are looking forward to improving their Test record in India, as they have been whitewashed 4-0 in their earlier trip.
The first Test of the four-match Test series between India-Australia will start from February 23, 2017, in Pune.