“We want to keep all our options open,” Cricket South Africa convenor of selectors Linda Zondi said in a news release on Thursday.
“We also have JP Duminy as an option in this department and I believe we have covered all our bases by having both holding and attacking spin options in our squad.
“It is good to have Dane back from his injury and Imran was our number one spinner for our last test series on the sub-continent against Sri Lanka.”
Zondi confirmed that wicketkeeper Dane Vilas would retain the gloves in this format having taken over from Quinton de Kock in Bangladesh in July.
“It is very important that we maintain consistency in our selections and Dane hardly had the chance to make his mark in Bangladesh where the series was so badly disrupted by the weather.”
Before the tests there are a three-match Twenty20 and a five-game ODI series on what is the Proteas’ longest ever sub-continent tour.
Tahir is also back for the 20-over series in the place of Aaron Phangiso, while there are recalls for all-rounder Chris Morris and fast bowler Marchant de Lange.
With Rilee Rossouw ruled out of the Twenty20 series through injury, his place has been taken uncapped middle-order batsman Khaya Zondo.
The Twenty20 series stats on Oct. 2, followed by the ODIs that begin on Oct. 11. The first test will be played in Mohali from Nov. 5.
Test squad: Hashim Amla (captain), Temba Bavuma, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Simon Harmer, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Vilas.
ODI squad: AB de Villiers (captain), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn.
Twenty20 squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, Marchant de Lange, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Eddie Leie, David Miller, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, David Wiese, Khaya Zondo.
(Reporting by Nick Said; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)