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Australia v West Indies: Steve O'Keefe to play SCG Test

 Steve O'Keefe has been given a chance to shine at the SCG, with selectors having one eye on the pitch and another on Australia's tour of Sri Lanka.

Peter Siddle will miss the series finale against West Indies that starts on Sunday, with left-arm spinner O'Keefe taking his place in the side.

Come in spinner: Steve O'Keefe is back.
Come in spinner: Steve O'Keefe is back. Photo: Getty Images

Siddle bowled in the nets on Saturday but is still restricted by the ankle injury he suffered at the MCG, where Australia won by 177 runs to retain the Frank Worrell trophy.

However, the veteran paceman was set to make way for O'Keefe even if fully fit.

"We think it's going to turn so we were going to go that way anyway," Steve Smith said.

"It's going to spin and it gives us an opportunity now to see Steven and see how he goes.

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"Obviously we've got a tour of Sri Lanka coming up where (playing) two spinners is a pretty good possibility."

O'Keefe, who played his one and only Test at Dubai in 2014, is well placed to tour Sri Lanka in August.

Australia haven't played two tweakers in a home Test since legspinners Stuart MacGill and Shane Warne played together in 2006 at the SCG.

Smith was confident Nathan Lyon and O'Keefe would be a potent force, having seen them bowl in tandem for NSW and the Sydney Sixers.

"They have bowled well together," he said.

"Hopefully they can do that this week and he (O'Keefe) can press claims for the Sri Lankan tour.

"He has got an opportunity now to become the second spinner.

"Hopefully the guys can get some purchase out of it."

Rain is predicted to interrupt every day of the contest but that failed to sway selectors away from O'Keefe.

"It was thought about but I think the wicket is quite hard and dry underneath," Smith said.

"This wicket recently has been spinning off the grass."

Josh Hazlewood has been granted his wish of playing all six Tests this summer.

Team management have been worried about Hazlewood's workloads since the first Test against New Zealand.

It is likely Hazlewood will be rested from a large part of Australia's five-match ODI series against India that follows the SCG Test.

"We've had a few conversations but at the moment we're just concentrating on this Test match," Smith said.

"We'll cover that off after this Test. We'll see how everyone pulls up."

Smith is nursing knee and hip niggles but has no intention of missing a game this summer.

"Hopefully I can continue to play and play well," he said.

If South Africa continue to struggle against England in the ongoing series then Australia will be within striking distance of the No.1 Test ranking.

Smith described the mantle as a "huge motivation".

"We're working extremely hard to get there," he said.

"It'd be nice to win this week and wrap the series up 3-0."

Australia XI: David Warner, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (capt), Adam Voges, Mitch Marsh, Peter Nevill, Steve O'Keefe, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon.

AAP

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