New Delhi: Karun Nair was on Tuesday named as a replacement for Virat Kohli for the one-off Test against Afghanistan. The Indian captain has decided to skip the historic encounter as he will be playing for Surrey in the English County Championship, to prepare for the series against England that follows. Ajinkya Rahane will lead the Indian Test team against Afghanistan in Kohli’s absence. Kohli will be back for the two T20Is against Ireland.
The national selection committee met to pick six squads on Tuesday. They picked the Test team against Afghanistan, the squad for the two-match T2OI series against Ireland, three-match T20I series against England, three-match ODI series against England, the India ‘A’ team for the one-day Tri-series against England Lions and West Indies ‘A’ and the India ‘A’ team for the two four-day games against West Indies ‘A’ and one four-day match against England Lions.
Barring Kohli, it will be the regular Test team that will play against Afghanistan as Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma will come back from England for the match.
“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," chairman of selectors Prasad said at a media conference.
While it remains to be seen whether Nair does fit into the middle-order, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara and skipper Rahane are expected to be certainties in the playing XI.
While selecting the ODI team for the England series, the selectors it seems have decided to reward a few young faces for their good performances in the ongoing Indian Premier League. Ambati Rayudu, who had been sidelined from the Indian team, has been brought back. Shreyas Iyer, who was part of the limited-overs team in South Africa, continues to be in the squad while pacer Siddarth Kaul has been handed a maiden India call-up.
The selectors also announced the squads for the limited-overs leg of the UK tour along with the India ‘A’ tour of England, where Test specialists were included for early acclimatisation. For the two-match T20 series, most of the players of the Nidahas Trophy team were retained, with Kohli coming back in.
The India ‘A’ tour of England will begin with an ODI tri-series against England Lions (A team) and West Indies A, from June 22. India ‘A’ will play a four-day ‘Test’ against the ‘Lions’ from July 16-19 at Worcester apart from couple of three-day games against county sides.
Test Squad Against Afghanistan: Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Shardul Thakur
T20I squad for Ireland and England Tour: Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul,Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Sidharth Kaul
ODI Squad for England Tour: 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, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav
India A Squad for One-day Series Against England Lions and West Indies A: Shreyas Iyer (Captain), Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Hanuma Vihari, Sanju Samson, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Vijay Shankar, K Gowtham, Axar Patel, Krunal Pandya, Prasidh Krishna, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Shardul Thakur
India A squad for Four-day Matches: Karun Nair (Captain), R Samarth, Mayank Agarwal, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari, Ankit Bawne, Vijay Shankar, KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Jayant Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Ankit Rajpoot, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Rajneesh Gurbani