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Wade under pressure to deliver in Tests

AAP logoAAP 2/01/2017 Rob Forsaith

Steve O'Keefe and Hilton Cartwright aren't the only Australians seeking to prove their worth in the SCG dead rubber that starts on Tuesday, with Matthew Wade under pressure to retain his spot in the Test side.

Steve Smith has confirmed two changes to the XI that wrapped up a series victory over Pakistan in Melbourne.

Left-arm spinner O'Keefe and uncapped allrounder Cartwright have been called up in place of paceman Jackson Bird and batsman Nic Maddinson.

O'Keefe and Cartwright will be desperate to impress and increase their chances of staying in the team during the four-Test tour of India that starts in February.

Wade, who has scored 21 runs from four Test knocks since replacing Peter Nevill behind the stumps, will also be keen to remind selectors of his talent.

Selectors cited Wade's superior batting and vocal presence as keeper as the reason for the change, but Nevill responded with an unbeaten knock of 179 not out at Sheffield Shield level.

"For him it's just about going out and playing his natural game. When he looks to be positive, it sorts out the rest of his game," Smith said of Wade.

"It helps his defence, he'll leave well and things like that.

"So it's about just being positive and hitting the ball if it's in his area. He's naturally quite an aggressive player, so if he has that positive mindset then I think everything will take care of itself."

Coach Darren Lehmann admitted last month the keeper conundrum was "a tight call, whichever way you go".

Nevill's superior glovework is also likely to weigh on selectors' minds when they decide who should be stumper in India.

Meanwhile, Smith has backed Cartwright to do a job with the ball if required in Sydney.

The 24-year-old son of a Zimbabwean tobacco farmer, who will bat at No.6 in a reshuffled order, averages 44.5 with the bat at first-class level.

Cartwright's first-class bowling average is a less impressive 41.93.

"He's improved (his bowling) a lot over the last year or so, I remember him facing him a little while ago and I think since then he's probably gained 10 kms/h," Smith said.

"And got a lot more consistent with his areas. He's improved a lot."

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