Ajinkya Rahane to captain for inaugural Test against Afghanistan

10 May, 2018, 06:40 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Virat Kohli had hinted leg-break bowler Yuzvendra Chahal to prepare for the Afghan Test raising a possible question of Chahal replacing Ashwin in the squad

Ajinkya Rahane will lead the squad while Shreyas Iyer has been roped in as Virat Kohli's replacement.

READ: 44 for England tour, former cricketers stumped! He was part of India's 50-over squad during the South Africa tour.

Among the unfamiliar names in India's squad for the limited-overs fixtures against Ireland and England happens to be Kaul, who is now playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), as well as Ambati Rayudu, whose name features in the squad for the ODI series against England.

The Test against Afghanistan begins on 14 June in Bengaluru.

Teams for T20 and three-match ODI series against Ireland and England have been named by selectors. That match is scheduled to be played from 25 to 28 June.

There had been reports Ashwin and Jadeja might both be rested but it emerged a day before the selection that Ashwin had not pursued his talks with Worcestershire because he had committed to playing this Test. He is going out so that he comes well prepared for the England Test series. It is always good that he goes there and performs well and he is very keen. He himself wants to do extremely well in English conditions.

BCCI have also given a new lifeline to 32-year-old Ambati Rayudu, who last played an ODI in June 2016 again on the back of a brilliant IPL season. Incidentally, the last Test match that he played was against Australia at Dharamasala in March, last year.

There were no surprises in the Test squad for Afghanistan.

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Rayudu is the leading run-getter in the ongoing IPL 2018 with 423 from 10 innings at a strike-rate of 151.61 for Chennai Super Kings.

However, it is highly unlikely that Nair will get a look-in in the playing XI against Afghanistan.

Ajinkya Rahane has received the axe from India's limited overs sides, while Rohit Sharma has met the same fate in Tests. "The fact that he is going and playing county cricket is setting a clear message to his teammates, to England and everyone around the world that he wants India to have a successful tour of the United Kingdom and wants to lead from the front", he said.

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.

Ajinkya Rahane named captain for Test against Afghanistan.

In the absence of Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah, Ishant along with Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Shami were the pacemen selected with allrounder Hardik Pandya providing seam-bowling cover. Punjab pacer Siddharth Kaul too has been rewarded for his domestic performance.

"It's sending a clear message to his teammates and England that he wants to have a successful tour of UK". Another name missing from the Kohli's list of who could do the job is Manish Pandey.

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