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Smith earns recall for tour of India

ABC, Yahoo!7 Updated January 31, 2013, 12:16 pm

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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  1. PEEL07:34pm Friday 01st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    ROGER you picked it. They have been dropping out for the last 6 years not the last 1 or 2 years. We have the players they just don't get picked because the selectors don't have any idea & are to pig headed to admit they are wrong with the rotation method. Get rid of the coach & put an Aussie coach in. S O'Keefe should be in in place of Smith.

  2. Roger01:54pm Friday 01st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    PEEL, the squad reflects the pool of "talent" the selectors had available to pick from (with the possible exception of Steve O'Keefe). You can't take as many experienced players out through retirement as Australia has in the last 6 years and expect to remain on top - especially given these players had held their spots for a very long time providing little opportunity to blood newbies, until now.

  3. PEEL09:49am Friday 01st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    ROGER, the squad reflects the weakness of the selectors. JUST MAYBE, The Aussies will need that team in the up coming ODI's, if you take notice of Channel 9's adverts they will be playing Richards, Ambrose etc.

  4. greg05:54pm Thursday 31st January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Craig Thomson finally arrested and facing 150 CHARGES. Day after Julia announces and election its been a good week

    3 Replies
  5. Trish04:06pm Thursday 31st January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I believe that Steve Smith has more than earned himself in the side. He is a wonderful fielder, a raw talent at batting and if given more opportunities at bowling he would improve there also. He has so much enthusiasm on the field and also remember he was captain of the Sydney 6er's when they won the championship in the BBL. I believe he would at some stage down the track that he would also make a good Australian captain. That's how much I believe in this kid. Unfortunately like so many other players that are constantly in or out of teams, no one has much chance to really prove what they can do.

  6. 03:56pm Thursday 31st January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Langer,Hayden,Ponting,Clarke,Hussey,Martin,Gilchrist,Warne,McGrath,gillespie,Lee ............................ Warner,Cowan,Hughes,Clarke,Smith,Maxwell,Wade,Henriques,Bird,Starc,Johnson.........Australian cricket is certainly on the rise!

  7. 03:50pm Thursday 31st January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Smith must have pics of the selectors with a goat!!!!!!

  8. Roger03:15pm Thursday 31st January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    The squad largely reflects the weakness of the local game.

    3 Replies
  9. abu r01:50pm Thursday 31st January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Steve Smith, Why!!!!! I don't know what the selectors saw on him.

  10. Robert01:09pm Thursday 31st January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I don't think this side could "Give Curry" to any opposition, let alone India at home.