By FOX Sports staff
The War Elephants are currently rooted to the bottom of Group C after being handed defeats in their opening two games; 3-1 and 5-2 losses to Kuwait and Lebanon respectively.
While it is not going to get any easier with a double header coming up against three-time champions Iran, the Thais have shown improvement following the departure of Winfried Schafer as coach, and caused quite a stir when they beat China 5-1 at the Hefei Olympic Sports Center with a largely under-23 side back in June.
Although it was Kiatisuk Senamuang who took charge of the side in a caretaker capacity then, Surachai has since been handed the reins on a fulltime basis and announced his first squad on Tuesday.
And in a bid to move away from the Schafer era, the 43-year-old has named just four players from the side that finished runners-up at the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup in Muangthong United striker Teerasil Dangda and Chonburi trio Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool, Adul Lahso and Chonlatit Jantakam.
With Muangthong's Kawin Thamsatchanan suffering another serious injury, Sinthaweechai is virtually guaranteed to be Thailand's first-choice goalkeeper, while the inexperienced duo of Narit Taweekul and Chatchai Budprom will both be vying to be his deputy.
A number of established names that fell out of favour with Schafer have also been reinstated, including experienced Buriram United duo Suchao Nutnum and Suree Sukha, and the Bangkok Glass strike pair of Teeratep Winothai and Chatree Chimtale.
There are numerous players looking to earn their first cap following impressive campaigns for their respective clubs in the Thai Premier League, but Surachai is likely to raise a few eyebrows for dropping a number of established names.
In particular, Muangthong stars Datsakorn Thonglao, Panupong Wongsa and Piyaphon Buntao are three of the most notable absentees, while there is also no space for Buriram left-back Theerathon Bunmathan and Chonburi winger Anucha Kitpongsri.
However, most of the War Elephants faithful will likely be pleased that their new coach has largely picked his squad based on form, with Buriram centre-back Pratum Chuthong and Army United attacker Monkol Tossagri two of the players that have really stood out this season.
Before their trip to Tehran, Thailand will take on Bahrain in a friendly at the Rajamangala Stadium on October 10.
Thailand squad for matches against Bahrain and Iran
Goalkeepers: Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool (Chonburi), Chatchai Budprom (Osotspa Saraburi), Narit Taweekul (Bangkok Glass)
Defenders: Wasan Homsaen, Korakod Wiriyaudomsiri (both Bangkok Glass), Noppol Pitfai (Chainat), Suree Sukha, Pratum Chuthong (both Buriram United), Rachanon Kanyatong (Songkhla United), Chonlatit Jantakam, Suttinan Phuk-hom (both Chonburi), Chaiwat Nak-iem (Army United), Pairote Sokam (Suphanburi), Panuwat Failai (Osotspa Saraburi)
Midfielders: Paitoon Nontadee (Police United), Ratchapol Nawanno, Surachet Ngamtip (both Chainat), Narong Jansawek (Osotspa Saraburi), Adul Lahso (Chonburi), Phuritad Jarikanon (Bangkok Glass), Pichit Jaiboon (Suphanburi), Chatchai Kumpraya (Bangkok United), Monkol Tossagri (Army United), Jakkraphan Kaewprom, Suchao Nutnum (both Buriram United)
Forwards: Teerasil Dangda (Muangthong United), Surachart Sareepim (Police United), Teeratep Winothai, Chatree Chimtale (both Bangkok Glass)