Ajinkya Rahane will lead India in Afghanistan's historic first-ever Test match in Virat Kohli's absence.
India have announced their squad for the upcoming one-off Test against Afghanistan.
As expected, India’s selectors have chosen to rest some key players from the historic Test match – it will be Afghanistan’s first in the format – with captain Virat Kohli, batsman Rohit Sharma, and fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah all sitting out.
However, some players who it had been speculated might not take part have been included. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma will take breaks from their stints in English domestic cricket in order to play – the match takes place between County Championship fixtures so they may not miss any action for their respective counties – while Ravichandran Ashwin is also playing, despite rumours he would be left out.
In Kohli’s absence, Ajinkya Rahane will captain the team, the second time he has stepped into the role as understudy; he also did so against Australia in 2017 when Kohli suffered a shoulder injury.
Called up in place of those left out are Karun Nair, who became India’s second triple-centurion against England in 2016 but was dropped after a poor series versus Australia, and the uncapped Shardul Thakur. The fast bowler made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in August 2017 and impressed during India’s ODI series against South Africa earlier this year.
The match will begin on 14 June at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. As well as being Afghanistan’s first ever Test, it will be the first Test match ever played in India in June.
Squad: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Cheteshwar Pujara, Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Shardul Thakur