Doherty and Smith earn Test recalls
Xavier Doherty and Steven Smith have been recalled to Australia’s Test squad for the tour of India.
The duo are part of a 17-man party featuring two uncapped all-rounders in Moises Henriques and Glenn Maxwell.
Shane Watson returns as vice-captain after overcoming his latest injury setback, while David Warner is included despite fracturing his thumb this week. There are also places for Usman Khawaja and James Pattinson, but Ben Hilfenhaus has been overlooked.
Neither Doherty or Smith have represented their country at Test level since their struggles in the 2010-11 Ashes.
The former, a left-arm spinner, has proven effective for Australia in one-day cricket, while leg-spinning all-rounder Smith remains something of an unfulfilled talent, but still has time on his side at the age of 23.
National selector John Inverarity said: “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.
“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.
“Xavier Doherty also returns to the Test squad. 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.”
Australia will play two warm-up matches in Chennai prior to the four-Test series, which gets underway at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on February 22.
Australia squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson (vice-captain), Jackson Bird, Ed Cowan, Xavier Doherty, Moises Henriques, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), David Warner.