Mumbai batsman Rohit Sharma has been called up as cover for VVS Laxman for the first Test against South Africa, beginning in Nagpur on February 6.
The stylish Hyderabadi batsman is yet to recover fully from the finger injury he suffered while fielding during the second Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong last month.
Even though the right-hander is expected to be fit for the first Test, the team management decided against taking any chances and included Rohit in the squad.
Laxman skipped the team's fielding practice on Tuesday and also did not bat in the nets.
Rohit captained the Board President's XI in the two-day tour game against South Africa, which ended in a draw, in Nagpur on Wednesday. He scored just 20 runs.
He was in the Test squad on India's tour of Sri Lanka in 2008, but did not get a chance to play.
The Indian team is plagued by injuries, with key batsmen Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh and fast bowler Sreesanth ruled out of the series opener.