NEW DELHI: As expected, Ajinkya Rahane has been confirmed as India’s captain for the one-off Test match against Afghanistan in Bengaluru next month, overseeing a familiar-looking squad which includes the recalled Karun Nair and Shardul Thakur. Rahane, however, has been left out from the ODI squad for England series, along with spinner Axar Patel.
The BCCI selectors met in Bengaluru to pick six squads on Tuesday, including two T20I squads to face Ireland and England and ODI outfit to face England, the latter featuring Ambati Rayudu who was recalled as replacement for the injured Kedar Jadhav and KL Rahul who took Manish Pandey’s place. Virat Kohli leads the T20I and ODI squads, but having opted to play county cricket for the month of June with Surrey, Rahane will lead India in Afghanistan’s debut Test from June 14.
Nair made headlines in late 2016 when he became the second Indian batsman to score 300 in a Test, doing so with a monumental 303 not out against England when filling in for the injured Rahane. He was dropped, however, after managing 54 runs in three innings against Australia. A strong domestic season has propelled Nair back into the Test squad as he has been included at expense of Rohit Sharma, who after a bumper series at home against Sri Lanka struggled for form in South Africa.
Thakur, 26, has replaced Jasprit Bumrah in the Test squad. He has been part of previous Test squads but has yet to debut. His international experience encompasses seven T20Is and three ODIs.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma, who have both featured in county cricket over the past few weeks, will return to India to play the Afghanistan Test as their counties – Yorkshire and Sussex – are not playing first-class matches between May 14 and June 30.
The Test captaincy – albeit for one match – is a feather in the cap for Rahane, who after managing just 17 runs in five innings against Sri Lanka in late 2017 was dropped for two Test matches in South Africa amid much speculation over his role in the side. When he was given a chance in the third Test of that tour earlier this year, Rahane made 9 and 48 in a famous overseas victory. Rahane’s leadership experience includes three ODIs, for two IPL franchises and for Mumbai at the Under-19 and T20 level, among other various domestic competitions.
The ODI squad comprises first-choice picks, with the inclusion of Rayudu coming after Jadhav was ruled out of the IPL with injury. 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. Rayudu, 32, last played an ODI in June 2016.
Rahul has also been recalled after a strong IPL run of form for Kings XI Punjab, having last played an ODI in August 2017. Opening the innings, Rahul has racked up 376 runs in nine innings at a strike-rate of 162.77.
From India’s previous T20I squad, which contested and won the Nidahas Trophy in March, Deepak Hooda, Mohammed Siraj, Axar Patel, Vijay Shankar and Jaydev Unadkat have been replaced with Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul and Umesh Yadav. Kaul has taken 13 wickets for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, which places him at fourth place on the bowling charts.
Test squad: Ajinkya Rahane (capt), Cheteshwar Pujara, Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Shardul Thakur
T20I squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav
ODI squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav
Source : timesofindia