Steve O'Keefe is unlikely to get a better chance to show his fine record at Sheffield Shield level can be replicated in Tests, thanks to an SCG pitch that's living up its spin-friendly reputation.
Yet that same pitch could also hinder Australia's latest Test addition – by showing just how far Nathan Lyon is ahead of his spin-bowling peers with the red ball.
For the second time in a week, Lyon was Australia's key strike bowler as the West Indies struggled to 6-207, on an opening day reduced to 75 overs due to rain. Their position would have been worse had it not been for an unbroken seventh-wicket partnership between Denesh Ramdin (23 not out) and Carlos Brathwaite (35 not out) that contributed 48 runs in the last 10 overs.
Carlos Brathwaite took to the crease at a precarious 6-159. The bowling all-rounder's willingness to repeatedly sweep O'Keefe showed he held no fear of the ball spinning sharply away and catching his outside edge. All six of his boundaries – four fours and two sixes – came off the left-arm finger-spinner.
Despite the toll Brathwaite had on his figures, O'Keefe conceded just 42 from his 14 overs. He claimed his first Test wicket in Australia, but that was more so due to the fine reflexes of Joe Burns at short-leg than it was to him deceiving the batsman who offered the catch, West Indies captain Jason Holder.
Lyon's opening-day figures of 2-68 did not do justice to the quality of his bowling, with one of his scalps anchor batsman Kraigg Brathwaite, for 85.
A constant theme of this Frank Worrell Trophy series has been the West Indies starting a day well only to undermine their good work after lunch. That script was maintained on Sunday.
The visitors overcame the early loss of opener Shai Hope, a late replacement for the injured Rajendra Chandrika, to reach 1-92 at lunch. They managed this courtesy of a solid partnership between their best batsmen, Kraigg Brathwaite and Darren Bravo.
Australia's two-man pace attack of Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson spent only the first seven overs bowling in tandem. It was at that stage that captain Steve Smith turned to Lyon, who spun the ball so sharply he kept him unchanged at the Randwick end for all but two of the remaining 34 overs.
The spin on offer was welcomed by Fawad Ahmed, the leg-spinner who served as Lyon's deputy during the winter tours of the West Indies and England only to lose his spot to O'Keefe because of scant opportunities on tour.
"After long time, ball is spinning miles ... typical SCG wicket ... love to watch," tweeted Ahmed, who is in Sydney for Big Bash League duty, but would undoubtedly much rather be in O'Keefe's position.
The turn was so pronounced that even when Lyon was bowling over the wicket to right-hander Kraigg Brathwaite, pitching the ball outside off-stump, his captain deployed a leg-slip, confident that Brathwaite would have to play on to the leg side.
From the other end, Smith relied on pace for most of the first session. That brought the first wicket, with the new ball, as Hazlewood had Hope caught behind to claim his first wicket since Hobart.
Pattinson's two spells before lunch were underwhelming. That changed after the break as he bowled with conspicuous effort on a pitch that offered no assistance to fast bowling.
It was a bouncer, to Bravo, that ended the left-hander's partnership with Brathwaite nine short of a century. Usman Khawaja deserved credit for the removal of Bravo for 33, given the difficulty of the low chance at backward square-leg.
Marlon Samuels' wretched tour continued with his departure for four. He ran himself out from the last delivery before a two-hour rain delay to leave the West Indies at 3-115.
Even though Brathwaite reached his half-century before lunch, and later came within 15 runs of a century, his innings was more admirable than it was impressive. Only a few of his 10 boundaries were truly authoritative, while in defence he played with such a soft grip he looked vulnerable. Still, in a line-up so bereft of reliable run-scorers he was valuable.
Despite the spin on offer, Smith declined to give both his spinners a long opportunity to bowl in tandem until the final session.
Lyon struck five overs into the final session when Kraigg Brathwaite underestimated the bounce as he attempted a cut, and was caught at first slip off his gloves. Within 10 minutes O'Keefe had his wicket when Holder turned a half-volley on the leg-side, enabling Burns to snare the difficult low chance. It was the last wicket the visitors lost for the day.