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Australia v India: Reinforcements aplenty for new series as teams focus on World Twenty20

Former foes of Australia, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh, are among India's high-profile reinforcements as both teams look to step up their preparations for the looming World Twenty20, when their Twenty20 series begins in Adelaide on Tuesday.

There is potential for significant changes to both sides from the teams that finished the one-day series in Sydney on Saturday.

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Australia could field up to two players who have yet to play any international cricket - batsman Travis Head and paceman Andrew Tye - in the Australia Day clash. Leg-spinner Cameron Boyce, top-order blaster Chris Lynn, all-rounder Shane Watson and veteran slinger Shaun Tait are the others added to the squad since the one-dayers ended.

Besides Yuvraj and Harbhajan, the visitors have also added white-ball batting specialist Suresh Raina, uncapped all-rounder Hardik Pandya and veteran swing-bowler Ashish Nehra.

Making a comeback: India's T20 squad has been bolstered by the return of Yuvraj Singh.
Making a comeback: India's T20 squad has been bolstered by the return of Yuvraj Singh. Photo: Getty Images

Each team will be missing a first-choice player from the one-day series - Glenn Maxwell (hamstring) for the home team, Ajinkya Rahane (split webbing) for India.

This three-match series will represent half of Australia's preparation for the World Twenty20, to be played in India in March. The other three matches will be played in South Africa just before the tournament.

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Adelaide residents typically embrace Australia Day matches and they could be given more cause to cheer than normal, with up to three South Australians in contention to play in Head, Kane Richardson and Tait.

Captain Aaron Finch confirmed a desire for early wickets had prompted the recall of Tait, who last played for Australia in the 2011 World Cup. The absence of Mitch Starc, as he recuperates from injury, and the retirement of Mitch Johnson created the vacancy for the 32-year-old whose World Twenty20 selection rests on his performances in this series.

"I think in Twenty20 cricket and I think in one-day cricket now, if you don't take wickets with the new ball it puts so much pressure on the middle overs, because it's so hard to contain good batting line-ups on very good, flat wickets through the middle overs of the game," Finch said.

Chief selector Rod Marsh strongly suggested the final 15-man squad for the World Twenty20 would include players outside the current 17-man squad, meaning players in the current squad are vying for finite positions.

While Finch conceded Head and Lynn probably fit that category, in that it is doubtful both will make the World Twenty20 squad, he said he was looking forward to the opportunity to select both of them in this series.

"They're so exciting. They're guys who can hit it a mile. Good fielders. 'Heady' can bowl quite well. So they're really attractive packages," said Finch.

"Are they vying for the same spot? You'd probably assume so, wouldn't you? But the guys who have got the first crack in this 17-man squad at the moment have earned their right to be here and have first chance."

India team director Ravi Shastri was bullish about the form of Yuvraj, a 34-year-old returning after almost two years out of the team.

"He's an impact player. He's got a proven record, a fabulous record in T20 cricket. He's explosive and he's a match-winner, so if he fires early for us there's nothing like it," Shastri said.

AUSTRALIA (from): Aaron Finch (c), Scott Boland, Cameron Boyce, James Faulkner, John Hastings, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Chris Lynn, Shaun Marsh, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Shaun Tait, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.

INDIA (from): M.S. Dhoni (c), R. Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishi Dhawan, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Gurkeerat Mann, Ashish Nehra, Hardik Pandya, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Umesh Yadav.