India have picked three spinners including left-armer Murali Kartik for the first two Test matches against South Africa starting later this month.
Kartik, 31, who played the last of his eight Tests against the South Africans in November 2004, joins skipper Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh in a strong spin attack for the hosts.
India's new pace sensation Ishant Sharma, who suffered toe and finger injuries on the recent tour of Australia, was omitted from the 14-man squad after failing a fitness test.
The seamer will miss the first Test in Chennai from March 26-30, but will be considered, if fit, for the second Test in Ahmedabad from April 3-7 and the final match in Kanpur from April 11-15.
Sharma is the only exclusion from the 11 that played in India's last Test, against Australia in Adelaide in January, which ended in a draw and left the hosts 2-1 winners.
Opening batsman Wasim Jaffer, middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh, pace bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and Kartik have been added to the Adelaide team.
Kumble and the team's new South African coach, Gary Kirsten, also have three seam bowlers to pick from for the first Test, besides a rich choice of seven frontline batsmen.
Injury worries, however, dominated the announcement of the squad by Indian cricket board secretary Niranjan Shah after a meeting of the five-man selection committee here on Monday.
Teenage leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, 19, was put on stand-by in case Kartik and Harbhajan fail to recover in time from minor injuries.
Kartik sprained his ankle during a domestic one-day match on Monday, while Harbhajan will undergo a fitness test on March 21 for a hamstring niggle sustained during the Australian tour.
Pace spearhead Zaheer Khan has already opted out of the series, saying he had not fully recovered from an ankle injury suffered in January.
India's Test squad:
Anil Kumble (capt), Wasim Jaffer, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Venkatsai Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Irfan Pathan, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Rudra Pratap Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Murali Kartik.
Coach: Gary Kirsten (RSA)