Portuguese-born all-rounder Moises Henriques has been handed a Test debut ahead of Glenn Maxwell for the first of the four-match series, starting in Chennai on Friday.
James Pattinson, whose summer was cut short by a side injury, has been recalled as the third fast bowler alongside Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle.
The tourists will, however, field only one frontline spinner in Nathan Lyon, with captain Michael Clarke and opener David Warner expected to share the burden on slow-bowling front.
Henriques, who will become the 432nd player to wear the baggy green, looked in good form in Australia's two warm-up matches, scoring 16 and 33 in addition to taking 4-12 and 1-30 with the ball.
The 26-year-old has won the race for the all-rounder's spot ahead of fellow uncapped player Glenn Maxwell, who's been named 12th man.
The swashbuckling Warner, too, has been named in the playing XI despite not having fully recovered from a fractured thumb.
Warner will in likelihood open the batting with the solid Ed Cowan, followed by Phil Hughes, Watson and Clarke in the middle-order.
Team: Michael Clarke (Capt), Ed Cowan, Moises Henriques, Phil Hughes, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.
Photograph: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images