Phillip Hughes, the Australian opener, has returned to the Test squad while his New South Wales team-mate, the uncapped 19-year-old fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, has also won a place in the 15-man pool for the tour of India in October. Offspinner Nathan Hauritz, whom Ricky Ponting had termed last month as a 'lock-in' for the India series and the Ashes, reclaimed his position as Australia's No. 1 slow bowler after recovering from a foot injury but wicketkeeper Brad Haddin was deemed to have not sufficiently recovered from an elbow injury.
The trio take the place of fast bowler Clint McKay, middle-order batsman Usman Khawaja and left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe, who were part of Australia's squad for the two Tests against Pakistan in July.
"The squad we have selected sees the return from injury of Phillip Hughes," Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said. " [It] includes a very good mix of experience and new young talent with Steven Smith, Hughes and two young fast bowlers in Peter George and Josh Hazlewood."
Hazlewood rose to prominence during the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand, and became the youngest cricketer to represent Australia when he played an ODI against England in June. The India tour will give him a chance to win a Test cap before he turns 20, in January.
His state team-mate Haddin, the first-choice wicketkeeper, is still not available giving Tim Paine another Test series behind the stumps. "Haddin is due to commence restricted batting in the next few weeks," Australian physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said. "He is on track to be available for club cricket and for New South Wales with the possibility of being available for selection in the India or Sri Lanka one-day series."
There was also no place in the squad for Victoria fast bowler Peter Siddle, a regular till a back problem ruled him out of action for seven months ago, who will test his fitness in this month's Champions League Twenty20 tournament in South Africa.
Two Tests form the first leg of Australia's tour of India, followed by a series of three one-dayers which ends on October 24.
Australia: Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke (vice-capt), Doug Bollinger, Peter George, Nathan Hauritz, Josh Hazlewood, Ben Hilfenhaus, Phillip Hughes, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Marcus North, Tim Paine (wk), Steven Smith and Shane Watson.