An Irishman, too, has booked his place, although Boyd Rankin's involvement was more or less expected after his strapping recent one day international performances. Ben Stokes, born in New Zealand but raised in Cockermouth, rounds off a trio of fresh faces.
It is the presence of Gary Ballance - he will turn 24 on the second day of the First Test at The Gabba - that will steal the headlines, though. An aptitude for the longer form of the game (and a first-class average of more than 50) first alerted England to his talents, and strong performances in 2012's Clydesdale Bank 40 led to him travelling to Australia for a limited-overs series with the England Lions. More recently, a whirlwind nine days in August brought 105 against the coming winter's foes, as well as 115 and 87 against Bangladesh A.
"It will be a great lifetime experience," Ballance said of making the party. "It will be a little daunting playing with some of the best players in the world but I know that I'll be made welcome. I'm not thinking too far in advance about breaking into the team. I will work hard on my game, develop my skills in the net and see what comes of it."
England, who have long been criticised for raiding foreign coffers, have been more ruthless and sinister of late, their long nose sniffing around other nations, scooping up youth in a fine net before placing them on a conveyer belt that they hope might someday lead to the Test team. It must have hurt the Irish fans who packed into Malahide last month to see their heroes conquered by the skills of two heartless deserters, Rankin and Eoin Morgan.
Yet so multi-cultural is the England set-up these days, that Ballance's background barely provokes debate. His inclusion, too, despite being so out of left-field, is unlikely to be disputed, mostly because the crowd of players too polite to have staked a proper claim for the long-troublesome No.6 spot seem all much of a muchness.
Similarly, after a summer in which he both went off the rails and urinated on bouncers, the presence of an unhinged Monty Panesar might at other times have been questioned. England, though, are not blessed with the luxury of another world class spinner to back up Graeme Swann. The only real debate, then, centres around the exclusion of Nick Compton.
The golden boy of English cricket, Joe Root, has - whisper it - not actually glittered all that much this summer. The sudden ejection of Compton from both the squad and the team was supposed to be so that Root could take his rightful place alongside Alasdair Cook for years to come. It hasn't worked out quite like that, and the bust-up with David Warner and photographs of him caught smoking outside a club perhaps signal that this anointed one might not be so angelic.
Which makes the omission of Compton all the more baffling. At times against New Zealand in May, he scratched around the crease; taking a lot of balls to not get very far at all. Twice in March, though, against the same opponents in antipodean conditions, he scored impressive centuries. What the frustrated fan might not realise is that every dull block softens the ball for Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell to stroll in and punch through the covers.
"He's done partly what he needed to do," said Geoff Miller, chief selector, of Compton's desperate summer efforts to get back involved. "It's a difficult decision obviously. He was disappointed when I talked to him and explained the situation. He's not out of the picture; the door's not closed on him."
The role of back-up opener has gone instead to Michael Carberry, who was unlucky in the one-day series against Australia. His lack of chemistry with Pietersen was alarming, though - the pair managed to conjure two hapless run-outs in four innings together - and, while years of toiling in the county game mean he deserves his opportunity, the same was said about Compton. And what was that opportunity worth?
The squad isn't set in stone, of course; these days they never are. A flight can be arranged in the event of injury, and there is a performance group touring concurrently containing the likes of Jos Buttler and Simon Kerrigan to be called upon at any moment. Tim Bresnan, suffering from a stress fracture in his back, is there in all but name, travelling as he is "to maximise his rehab opportunities with the medical team".
His place in the actual list was taken by Stokes, the young, skiddy all-rounder whose mature performances were probably the best thing to emerge from the one-day series defeat. "He's proved over the last year or so that he's developing his game rapidly, he's an exciting prospect," said Miller. "He comes into the squad to feel the atmosphere and we know he's capable of doing a job for us in the all-rounder position."