Cahill, who plays his club football in the United States with the New York Red Bulls, won his 60th cap for the Socceroos in their 2-1 win over Iraq in a qualifier in Doha last October.
Australia are second in Group B of Asia qualifying, eight points behind Japan and equal on five points with Iraq and Oman with four matches remaining in their campaign.
The top two from the group qualify for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
The 33-year-old Cahill's experience will be welcome for the match at Sydney's Olympic Stadium on March 26 in the enforced absence of regular skipper Lucas Neill, who is suspended.
Crystal Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak, as well as Europe-based young guns Tommy Oar and Tom Rogic, are also recalled to the squad, which includes six players from the domestic A-League.
Squad: Mark Bresciano, Alex Brosque, Tim Cahill, Robert Cornthwaite, Dino Djulbic, Eugene Galekovic, James Holland, Brett Holman, Mile Jedinak, Robbie Kruse, Ryan McGowan, Matt McKay, Mark Milligan, Jade North, Tommy Oar, Tom Rogic, Mathew Ryan, Mark Schwarzer, Archie Thompson, Michael Thwaite, Luke Wilkshire, Rhys Williams, Michael Zullo.