Indian team for Test against Afghanistan & ODI series against England announced

Ajinkya Rahane will lead the Indian team in Virat Kohli's absence

Ajinkya Rahane will lead the Indian team in Virat Kohli's absence

India play England at Trent Bridge on July 12, followed by matches at Lord's two days later and Headingley on July 17 prior to a five-match Test series against the hosts.

Clarke sees 2011-winning skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as a crucial member of the 2019 World Cup-bound squad and termed the Kohli-led side as the overwhelming favourites.

India also chose to manage the workloads of other test regulars, opting to rest batsman Rohit Sharma and pace duo Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah for the Afghanistan test.

There was no Test call-up for Shreyas Iyer but the Mumbai batsman is part of the ODI unit and will lead the India-A team in the one-day tri-series against England Lions and West Indies-A. And that Rohit will not be in the red-ball plans for the England tour, especially given that Karun Nair - his replacement - is also the captain for the India A side that will play four-day matches in England and thus seems a better bet to have on the Test team. While the BCCI allowed Kohli to prepare for the England Tests by playing county, the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma have come back after their month-long stint at the Old Blighty, for Yorkshire and Sussex respectively.

Afghanistan, who along with Ireland earned Test status recently, will play the Test in Bangalore from 14 June, and Choudhary disagreed that Kohli's absence will take anything away from the historic occasion. Some of the Test specialists like Wriddhiman Saha, M. Vijay and Md. Why not, he has been outstanding this IPL and continues to impress, especially in death overs. While Kedar Jadhav has been ruled out due to injury, another middle-order batsman, Manish Pandey, who features in the T20 squad, has been left out of the ODI team.

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Amitabh Choudhary, the BCCI's acting-secretary, likened Afghanistan's maiden Test, to be played here in June, to India's first Test at Lord's in June 1932. Punjab pacer Siddharth Kaul too has been rewarded for his domestic performance.

Ravichandran Ashwin has been named in the squad for the test against Afghanistan while Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who were a travelling with the squad for the Test series in South Africa have been given some much needed rest with the selectors adding Shardul Thakur and a spinner in Kuldeep to the squad.

There were no surprises in the Test squad for Afghanistan.

For ODIs against England: Kohli (captain), Dhawan, Rohit, Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, A Rayudu, Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Karthik, Chahal, Kuldeep, Sundar, Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah, H Pandya, Kaul, U Yadav. TOI takes a look. He was part of India's 50-over squad during the South Africa tour.

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