Rahane to Lead India in The Test vs Afghanistan, Rohit Dropped
Selection Committee announced that Ajinkya Rahane will be leading India in the one-off Test against Afghanistan.
Team India for Afghanistan
Ajinkya Rahane (Capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohd Shami, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Shardul Thakur.
Virat Kohli's much-hyped county stint paved the way for Karun Nair's comeback while senior batsman Rohit Sharma was dropped from the 15-strong Indian squad announced today for the historic one-off Test against Afghanistan next month.
Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane will expectedly lead the team in Kohli's absence, the selection committee led by MSK Prasad announced after a meeting in which multiple squads were picked.
It remains to be seen whether India's second ever Test triple centurion Nair, who is making a comeback after 14 months in the wilderness, makes the playing XI against the Afghans in the match starting June 14.
Except Virat, all the Test specialists are playing. He is going for a cause as he wants to come well prepared for the England Test series. It is always good that he goes there and performs well. He is very keen to do extremely well in English condition. It is a great opportunity for us to win the series.MSK Prasad, Chairman, National Selection Committee
The 26-year-old Nair has scored 612 runs for Karnataka in the last Ranji Trophy with three hundreds.
Nair has played six Test matches, scoring 374 runs, but after his 303 against England at Chennai, his sequence of scores read 26, 0, 23 and 5, leading to his exclusion. However, it is highly unlikely that Nair will get a look-in the playing XI against Afghanistan.
For the 31-year-old Rohit, an aggregate of 78 runs in 4 innings with a highest score of 47 during the South Africa series, is the reason for his exclusion from the Test squad.
Pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested as they are expected to shoulder the workload during the limited overs leg in UK before the big-ticket Test series in August
Most of the senior players have retained their places in the squad with all the three openers KL Rahul, Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan in the 15. Also present are senior spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja along with chinaman Kuldeep Yadav.
Hardik Pandya is the only all-rounder while the seasoned duo of Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami are expected to share the new ball. The back-up pacer in the squad is Shardul Thakur.
Virat to Return for Ireland Series
Virat, however, will play in the two T20 Internationals against Ireland in Dublin where pacer Siddarth Kaul might get his maiden call-up in the shortest format after a string of good performances in the ongoing IPL.
Interestingly, Surrey had officially announced that Kohli will be available for the entire month of June and they play against Yorkshire at Scarborough from June 25-28.
The two T20 matches are scheduled to be held on 27 and 29 June at The Village in Dublin.
Team India for Two-Match T20I Series vs Ireland
Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (Wicketkeeper), Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav
(With input from PTI)
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