"We cannot say on long term basis but looking at Harbhajan's performance in the last series, we feel that he deserves a chance on this tour," Patil said. Murali Vijay, who is a regular opener in Tests, is likely to partner Rahane at the top of the order as Manish Pandey and Manoj Tiwary are the other batsmen named in the side. Among pacers, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohit Sharma were retained with Punjab's uncapped Sandeep Sharma joining them.
Team director Ravi Shastri will not travel to Zimbabwe due to "prior engagements".
"It is a young side we selected keeping in mind the future. The boys have put in good performances to get selected. This team has been selected keeping in mind the road map for the World Twenty20 which will be held in India early next year," said Patil.
"We have to move forward for which we selected this side. Our job is to select the best possible team which we have done. The playing XI has to be chosen by the team director, captain and team management; the selectors have no role in that."
The teams are: India squad: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, Manoj Tiwary, Kedar Jadhav, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Harbhajan Singh, Axar Patel, Karn Sharma, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma. India A squad: Cheteshwar Pujara (captain), Lokesh Rahul, Abhinav Mukund, Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Naman Ojha, Vijay Shankar, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Shardul Thakur, Varun Aaron, Abhimanyu Mithun, Umesh Yadav, Shreyas Gopal, Baba Aparajith.