Joubert Strydom, the chairman of the selection committee, said Harris was included to partner offspinner Johan Botha . "We have always wanted to have two specialist spinners in our one-day squad for the sub-continent," Strydom said. "With both the Champions Trophy in September and the next World Cup scheduled to be played on the sub-continent, it is important that we explore our options in this regard."
Harris had recovered from a surgery that kept him out of ongoing Test series against Bangladesh, and Strydom said it was important that he get "as much exposure to sub-continent conditions as possible" ahead of the tour to India.
Strydom said the selectors were keen to see how Amla, who has scored 1251 runs from 21 Tests at 33.81, performs in ODIs. "We will now have a very young middle order of Amla, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy behind the experienced opening combination of Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs and we are very interested to see how they fare under testing conditions."
Meanwhile, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Makhaya Ntini have been rested from the ODIs. Explaining the selectors' decision, Strydom said: "It is with an eye on the Indian Test series that we have also decided to rest Kallis, Boucher and Ntini.
"It is going to be a very tough assignment and we need to have them fresh and ready for the challenge. We feel that the rest will be extremely beneficial in this regard."
South Africa will be without the services of Shaun Pollock, who retired from the game in the home series against West Indies, and the performances of the two allrounders, Albie Morkel and Vernon Philander, will be closely watched to see whether they can fit in as long-term options.
The first ODI begins in Chittagong on March 14.
Graeme Smith (capt), Herschelle Gibbs, AB de Villiers (wk), JP Duminy, Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Albie Morkel, Vernon Philander, Paul Harris, Johan Botha, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Charl Langeveld, Andre Nel