XAVIER Doherty's road to Test resurrection must feel every centimetre of the 8144-kilometre distance between Adelaide and Chennai.
Pummelled by the victorious English batsmen in the 2010-11 Ashes series, the George Town spinner has taken more than two years to earn yesterday's recall for the four-Test tour of India later this month.
But a lot has changed since Doherty's last Test match at the Adelaide Oval when his figures of 1-158 followed 0-107 in the second innings at the Gabba as English batsmen Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen ran amok.
The left-armer has firmly established himself as Australia's primary one-day spinner, muscled in on the national Twenty20 scene and reassessed his approach to bowling while also passing 30 and becoming a father.
Welcoming his recall, Doherty said his previous Test experience represented the steepest of learning curves.
``Those matches were very disappointing at the time but that's where you learn the most about yourself - from your mistakes and disappointment,'' he told The Examiner.
``I realise now that I had a bit more work to do to get into Test cricket.
``I learned a lot from those two Tests. I thought I bowled better than what those figures suggested but now I know I was not where I needed to be to become a threat at that level.''
Doherty admitted he thought he had blown his chance at cricket's top level having taken three wickets at 102.00.
``Your initial reaction is that you're not going to get another chance. You go from feeling on top of the world when you're playing to crashing down when you lose your spot.
``But you do start to hope and dream again that another chance may come.
``I always felt I was good enough to come back into the Test team but it's about being in the right place at the right time.
``It's been a lot of hard work over the last couple of years and I feel like I'm bowling quite well so feel in a good place.
``I've been working on spinning the ball more, becoming more consistent and having better control over batsmen.''
Announcing a 17-man squad yesterday, selector John Inverarity said Doherty's recent form had earned his selection.
``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,'' he said.
``He adds further flexibility to the squad, depending on the conditions.''
Doherty was excited about potentially teaming up with Nathan Lyon in conditions which he last graced on two development tours a decade ago and which saw spinners dominate in England's victorious tour last year.
``Obviously, it's a place that suits spinners which is why they've picked a few of us and watching the English series their spinners did really well and led the attack so we'd be looking to do the same.
``It's certainly a different place to go but where you do get assistance from the wicket. The game becomes a lot more simple. If you bowl consistently, the wicket will help.''
Doherty is joined by Tasmanian teammates Jackson Bird and Ed Cowan for the tour which includes two warm-up matches before the First Test on February 22 in Chennai.
The Australian squad for games three, four and five of the one-day series against the West Indies will be announced before tomorrow's opener in Perth.