Batsmen Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Rain have been excluded from India's squad for the first two Tests of their four-match series against Australia.

The left-handed Murali Vijay and the uncapped Shikhar Dhawan have been selected in the absence of Gambhir and Raina, while the veteran Harbhajan Singh is one of four spinners in a 15-man party that also includes slow bowler Ravichandran Aswhin, Ravindra Jadeja and Pragyan Ojha. Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla has been dropped.

Gambhir has lost his place after a lengthy stretch of inadequate form. The left-hander's last Test century came in January 2010, while fellow opener Virender Sehwag has retained his place after breaking a two-year drought without a century against England recently.

Sehwag, however, is expected to bat in the middle order to accommodate Vijay and Dhawan at the top of the knock. The pair opened the batting in the Rest of India's ongoing match against Mumbai.

Seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has also earned a maiden call-up to the Test fold, after impressing in recent limited-overs series against Pakistan and England. Fast bowler Ishant Sharma, meanwhile, has been picked despite concerns over his recurring ankle injury.

Squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, Ashok Dinda, Murali Vijay, Ishant Sharma.