Doherty, 30, was called back to the brink of Australia’s Test team when a squad of 17 players was released by national selection chairman John Inverarity on Thursday.
In a distinct slant toward spin as a significant weapon in the four-match series Doherty was joined in back-up to frontliner Nathan Lyon along with leggie Steve Smith and right-arm offie Glenn Maxwell.
Dynamic speedster James Pattinson continues his recovery from a serious side strain he suffered way back in November with a recall to the gruelling sub-continent tour.
This summer's newest Test seam sensation Jackson Bird is also in the touring party.
Dashing opener Dave Warner is in the squad despite suffering a fractured thumb while batting in the nets at Australian team training in Perth on Wednesday.
Warner has already been ruled out of action for the next fortnight and the five-match limited-overs series against the West Indies.
Stylish left-hander Usman Khawaja has been recalled to the game’s highest level as replacement in Australia’s middle-order batting with the retirement last month of champion Mike Hussey.
The Australian squad is: Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson (vice-captain), Dave Warner, Ed Cowan, Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Xavier Doherty, Jackson Bird, James Pattinson, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith.
Inverarity declared the squad has important felxibility.
“This squad has the flexibility that will be required for the varying conditions expected in India and it will provide valuable experience to a number of young players," he said.
“The squad includes a spin bowling all-rounder in Maxwell and a medium-fast all-rounder in Henriques. In aiming for more depth in a bowling attack, the squad would allow for three pace bowlers, a leading spinner and Maxwell or two pace bowlers, the two spinners and Henriques.
"These are two of the options."
Khawaja, 26, has played six Tests but his last was in December of 2011 when he made seven and 23 batting at number three in Australia's gut-wrenching seven-run loss to New Zealand in Hobart.
Injury ravaged top-order expert Shane Watson also won a recall as the vice-captain continues another long recovery from a calf strain.
Watson, 31, is expected to continue his quest for a full-time return to the Aussie batting make-up as a specialist opener.
Watson appears set to engage in a full-on batting shootout with inconsistent opener Ed Cowan to partner Warner at the top of Australia’s order.
Watson also shapes as an ideal possible makeshift opener if Warner’s recover from his thumb injury is prolonged into the sub-continent tour, with the First Test starting in Chennai on February 22.
Doherty, who played two Tests for three wickets at an average of 102, wins the race to join frontline spinner Nathan Lyon after bids from New South Wales left-arm orthodox tweaker Stephen O’Keefe.
It had been widely anticipated that Western Australian left-arm finger spinner Michael Beer would have been recalled for Test duty but he suffered a serious shoulder injury while fielding at training a little more than a week ago.
Beer, 28, was ruled out of selection contention as he starts what could be a six-week recovery schedule.
Inverarity confessed that Doherty had secured his Test chances through impressive performances at the limited-overs international level.
"We certainly feel he is much improved in the longer format of the game since he made his Test debut in 2010-11 against England," Inverarity said.
"He adds further flexibility to the squad, depending on the conditions."
Inverarity disclosed that trial matches in India ahead of the Test series could still decide final placings in the starting line-up.
“The First Test is scheduled to begin on 22 February in Chennai and prior to the Test match, we have a good opportunity for members of the squad to get well acclimatised to the conditions with two warm-up fixtures," he said.