Melbourne: In the wilderness for five years, pacer Shaun Tait on Monday made a stunning return to Australia's power-packed squad for the three-match Twenty20 series against India while off-spinner Nathan Lyon was brought in for the remaining two ODIs against the visitors.
With one eye on the World Twenty20 in India in March, the Australian selectors named a 17-strong squad for the T20 series against Dhoni's side starting 26 January in Adelaide.
Before that the last two matches of the ODI series, which the hosts have already sealed by taking a 3-0 lead, will be played on Wednesday and Saturday in Canberra and Sydney respectively.
Australia have opted for Lyon's services in place of young pacer Joel Paris in the 13-member squad while vice-captain and opener David Warner also returns to the team from paternity leave to replace Usman Khawaja.
Lyon, who last played an ODI for Australia in 2014, has been doing well for his Big Bash side Sydney Sixers and was been rewarded for his fine showing.
"Our choice of Nathan Lyon comes off the back of good form in the KFC BBL (big Bash League) and we decided the time is right to have another look at him in the shorter forms of the game," said national selector Rod Marsh.
Cricket Australia also made wholesome changes in the T20 squad for the three-match series.
Steven Smith and Warner will play only in the opening match in Adelaide before sitting out in the next two games to prepare for the first ODI against New Zealand on February 3.
The major surprises come in the form of Tait and out-of-favour all-rounder Shane Watson, who last played an ODI in Australian colours in 2015.
"Shane Watson has earned his recall to Australian colours through a combination of his experience, especially in short-form cricket, the all-round package he offers and the fact he is bang in form at the moment, having put performances on the board for the Sydney Thunder," said Marsh.
"Shaun Tait returns on the basis that he is the quickest bowler going around in Australia at the moment and he offers us that explosive option if we choose to use it," the former player added.
The squad will also see some young but familiar BBL and domestic faces in all-rounder Chris Lynn, wicketkeeper-batsman Travis Head, medium-pacer Andrew Tye and Queensland leg-spinner Cameron Boyce.
"Chris Lynn, Travis Head and Andrew Tye have made irresistible cases for inclusion off the back of individual excellence in the KFC BBL and we are delighted to offer them the opportunity to push their claims for inclusion in the ICC World Twenty20," Marsh said.
"In terms of leg-spin, Cameron Boyce has once again impressed in domestic action and deserves his spot."
The selectors said they regretted not being able to find places for George Bailey and Mitchell Marsh but noted that the door remains open for them in yet-to-be-picked World Twenty20 squad.
"We know what both those players are capable of, and both have significant experience of playing Twenty20 cricket in India," Marsh said
"But we want them to continue to press their cases for inclusion while we take this opportunity to look at other contenders."
The second T20 will take place in Melbourne on January 29 while the final game will be in Sydney on January 31.
ODI: Steven Smith (c), Aaron Finch, David Warner, Shaun Marsh, George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland, Kane Richardson
T20: Aaron Finch (capt), Scott Boland, Cameron Boyce, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Shaun Tait, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.
Published Date: Jan 18, 2016 01:11 pm | Updated Date: Jan 18, 2016 01:11 pm