Australia paceman Starc ruled out of Test opener against India

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Australia announced an 18-player squad for their upcoming tour of India, with Mitchell Starc to miss the first Test of the series due to a finger injury.

Starc suffered tendon damage and a fracture to the middle finger on his bowling hand during the Boxing Day Test against South Africa at the MCG, although he was able to tough it out and return to the field.

The 32-year-old was ruled out of the final Test of the series in Sydney and selectors confirmed on Wednesday that Starc's recovery will mean he will not fly over to India with the rest of Australia's squad.

In more positive news, Cameron Green is expected to make a full recovery in time for the series opener on February 9, having undergone surgery on a finger injury of his own.

"Greeny, we're hopeful that he should be right for the first Test," chair of selectors George Bailey said.

"But if not that, that's okay. We feel like we've got the squad that can cover that.

"Starcy's not expected to be available for the first Test, in fact he's going to come across to India a touch later."

If there is one area of the squad where Australia could afford an injury, it is in the fast-bowling department.

With Starc out, captain Pat Cummins will likely be joined by Josh Hazlewood and Scott Boland in the pace attack, while the rapid Lance Morris has been named in the squad and might feel overdue for a look-in.

Australia also named four spinners, with veteran campaigner Nathan Lyon joined by Ashton Agar, Mitchell Swepson and uncapped off-spinner Todd Murphy.

Bailey addressed the condition of back-up wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb, who was forced to retire hurt immediately after hitting a six while playing for St Kilda in a T20 on Tuesday, having been nailed in the hip the previous over.

"Pete's got a scan tomorrow morning to check on that," Bailey said. "He's confident it's nothing too serious.

"A bit of a mishap. He just copped a ball on the back hip, and then three balls later he dispatched one and just felt something give a little bit in there.

"There's still quite a bit of time between now and when we depart and even when the first test is, so we'll work through that as we get more information."

Bailey confirmed Handscomb is still third in the pecking order, but selectors have opted to give Josh Inglis the tour off to allow him to play some first-class cricket.

"Josh is absolutely still our backup or number two wicketkeeper," he said. "But we're also conscious that he has been on a number of tours and hasn't actually been able to play a great deal of cricket."

The first Test of of the four-match series starts in Nagpur on February 9.