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India vs Australia 2017: Australia withdraw Steve O'Keefe from BBL in preparation for India tour

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Australia's left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe has been withdrawn from the Big Bash League (BBL) in a bid to prepare for Australia's tour of India starting next month.

The 32-year-old had been named in the Sydney Sixers squad to play the Melbourne Renegades at the SCG on Monday before Cricket Australia pulled him out.

O’Keefe, who is a certainty to be named in Australia's Test squad, will now focus on the five-day format and will be part of a group of players travelling to Dubai for a training camp ahead of the India tour.

"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 Qantas tour of India,’’ said Pat Howard, CA high performance manager was quoted in cricket.com.au report.

"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.

"His focus will now be on Grade and Futures League cricket before likely being one of the first players to depart for Dubai in late January," he added.

The left-arm spinner impressed on his return from injury with match figures of 4 for 103 during Australia's convincing third Test victory over Pakistan at the SCG.

O’Keefe is considered as a key for Australia, who are yet to win a Test series in India since 2004.

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