Yes, he's been around for a while, and the debut was for Jharkhand vs Kerala. These were some of the weakest sides and they were playing in the tier 2 of the Ranji Trophy. But nonetheless, like all spinners, he has been getting better with age and has put in a couple of solid seasons to warrant A team selection.
But there are quite a few above him in the pecking order, like the Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, left arm spinner Parvez Rasool, and leggie Shreyas Gopal. May be even Yuzvendra Chahal, the chess grand master turned leggie. Of course all of them behind Ashwin, Jadeja, Mishra and Jayant Yadav, the incumbents.
The curious case of selecting and not bowling K Gowtham, the off spinner, is the most interesting point of the match for me. He came into the FC scene last season after 3 years in wilderness and wreaked havoc with a lot of wickets. But I don't think he deserved the A team selection just for that. Shreyas Gopal should have been there ahead of him. May be the observation that the Aussies are more vulnerable to offies was the logic, and then he was held back and not bowled at all. He was known to mimic Harbhajan Singh's action before, then changed it later on working with the legendary EAS Prasanna to come back and take all those bagful of wickets last season.
May be, it was Dravid's way of giving the Aussies a false sense of security by not bowling the offie, so that they have no / less answers when Ashwin is unleashed upon them? But I do think Aussies are much better prepared this time, and since Kumble's time at the helm, we have moved away from preparing dust bowls (remember the last Aus series and the last SA series) and are preparing more sporting wickets - i.e., Kumble does not want to have a say in pitch preparations - something Ravi Shastri relied upon for getting good looking results. So, the Aussies must feel they have better chance this time, but India's batting bench strength is better than it probably ever was in the last 20-30 years, with triple centurions warming the benches.