Steve Smith earns Test recall for Australia s tour of India
Steve Smith earns Test recall for Australia's tour of India

Australia will take a veritable smorgasbord of spin options to India for next month's four-Test tour of India.

National selector John Inverarity unveiled the squad on Thursday morning with spinning all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith named alongside incumbent tweaker Nathan Lyon and the in-form Xavier Doherty.

Inverarity said the depth of the squad accounts for the subcontinent's traditionally spin-friendly pitches.

"This squad has the flexibility that will be required for the varying conditions expected in India and it will provide valuable experience to a number of young players," he said in a statement.

"The squad includes a spin bowling all-rounder in Maxwell and a medium-fast all-rounder in Henriques.

"In aiming for more depth in a bowling attack, the squad would allow for three pace bowlers, a leading spinner and Maxwell or two pace bowlers, the two spinners and Henriques. These are two of the options."

Inverarity acknowledged Xavier Doherty's recent strong form in the one-day series against Sri Lanka.

"We certainly feel he is much improved in the longer format of the game since he made his Test debut in 2010-11 against England," Inverarity said.

"He adds further flexibility to the squad, depending on the conditions."

Australian selectors will decide which players in the squad will be required for ODI duties in the five-match series against West Indies.

Players not needed for the 50-over format will be sent to India early to acclimatise.

"It is a long tour and a very important one as we look to continue our improvement in Test cricket and our quest to return to the top of the ICC Test cricket rankings," Inverarity said.

"We are also building towards back-to-back Ashes series."

Young left-hand batsman Usman Khawaja, , was named in the squad for a potential Test return on Indian soil.

Two-Test fast bowler Jackson Bird was named alongside fellow young quicks James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc and experienced hands Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson in Australia's pace battery.

They will be backed up by medium-fast all-rounders Shane Watson and Moises Henriques, who is also yet to make his first appearance in the Baggy Green.

Gloveman Matthew Wade retained wicket-keeping duties in what is certain to be a testing series behind the stumps, after he received some criticism for his performances against South Africa and Sri Lanka at home this summer.

The Aussies have not left India triumphant in the long form of the game since 2004-05, only the third time they have won a series there.

The 1956/57 and 1969/70 tours were the only other victorious ones.

The first of four Tests begins on February 22 in Chennai.

Australia (squad): Michael Clarke (c), Shane Watson, Jackson Bird, Ed Cowan, Xavier Doherty, Moises Henriques, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

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