Key has led Kent to the Friends Provident Trophy final this season
Kent captain Rob Key believes skippering the England Lions is yet another chance for him to keep his name in the England selectors' eyes.
Key's opening partner Joe Denly and spinner James Tredwell are also in the 12-man squad to play South Africa.
Key told BBC Radio Kent: "It should be good. It's interesting times for English cricket and who knows.
"There's a bit of a new era, so maybe a score here or a few wickets for Tred might do our causes no harm."
The Kent captain last played for England in South Africa over three years ago. In 15 tests he scored 775 runs at an average of 31.
Before Kevin Pietersen was named England captain Key's name was mentioned in some quarters as a possible successor to Michael Vaughan.
Rob Key also captained the Lions earlier this season in a four-day match against New Zealand, while Tredwell joined the England one-day squad in New Zealand over the winter.
All three of the Kent players are in the squad to play Essex in the Friends Provident Trophy final at Lords, just two days after playing for the Lions.
The Lions will play South Africa in the one-day game on August 14.