Sydney: Fast bowler Shaun Tait and all-rounder Brad Hogg have been recalled to the Australia side for the first test against India starting at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 26.
Tait was recalled to the 12-man squad after missing last month's series against Sri Lanka with injury, while Hogg replaces leg-spinner Stuart MacGill, who has been ruled out after undergoing wrist surgery.
Australia's chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said in a statement that the final starting XI would not be named until the day of the match but both players deserved their recalls.
TIGHT BOWLING: Pak pacer Shoaib on Monday had exhorted Aussies to bring in Tait against Indian batsmen. (Photo: Reuters)
"We're obviously very pleased with the test team results so far this summer, but the injury to Stuart MacGill has forced a change to the side," Hilditch said.
"Brad Hogg replaces MacGill in the squad of 12, based on his Pura Cup (first-class) performances to date and his consistent performance for the one-day international team in that form of the game.
"Brad deserves the opportunity to once again represent Australia in test cricket."
Tait was originally chosen for the two-match series against Sri Lanka but was forced to withdraw after injuring his elbow. He was replaced in the squad by Ben Hilfenhaus, who did not play in either Test, but was included after proving his fitness.
"Shaun regains his place in the Australian squad, having been our initial selection in Brisbane," Hilditch said. "Now he's fully recovered from injury he retakes his place in the 12."
Team: Ricky Ponting (captain), Adam Gilchrist, Stuart Clark, Michael Clarke, Matthew Hayden, Brad Hogg, Mike Hussey, Phil Jaques, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Andrew Symonds, Shaun Tait