O'Keefe out of BBL to focus on India tour

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Australia spinner Steve O'Keefe appears set for the Test tour of India after being withdrawn from the Big Bash League to focus on his preparation.

O'Keefe played his fourth Test in the win over Pakistan in Sydney, taking four wickets as Australia sealed a 3-0 series victory.

The 32-year-old was considered among the spin options to tour India in February and March.

But O'Keefe seems certain to have a place after Cricket Australia (CA) withdrew him from the rest of the Sydney Sixers' Big Bash season.

"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," CA executive general manager team performance Pat Howard said.

"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."

Australia will play a four-Test series in India beginning in Pune on February 23.