"If you see Bumrah's performance in the last 18 months, it's been wonderful", said chairman of selection committee MSK Prasad. It's a unanimous choice and he definitely adds variety. India will play three T20Is - on 20, 22 and 24 December at Cuttack, Indore and Visakhapatnam respectively - before flying off to South Africa for the daunting assignment.
Pandya, 24, has become a key member of the Virat Kohli-led side since making his limited-overs debut a year ago.
For Tests, the core of the team is more or less settled, with three openers and the in-form middle-order selecting themselves.
As was expected, India are going in with five pacers for the all-important South Africa tour.
"Considering the nature of the wickets there, I think it will suit his bowling", said the former India wicketkeeper.
The three Tests will be played at Newlands, Cape Town (Jauary 5 to 9), Centurion (January 13-17) and The Wanderers, Johannesburg (January 24-28).
Virat Kohli has been rested for the T20 series against the Lankans. Rohit Sharma will lead the 15-member squad that has former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in it.
Allrounder Hardik Pandya returns to the squad after opting out of the series against Sri Lanka.
India Test Squad against South Africa: Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Parthiv Patel, Jasprit Bumrah.