The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday announced Ajinkya Rahane as the captain for India's squad that is to host Afghanistan in a historic one-off Test at Bengaluru in June, while Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Siddharth Kaul earned a call-up into India's limited-overs squad for the tour of Ireland and England that is to take place later.
Kohli had earlier opted out of the one-off Afghanistan Test in order to play the County Championship in England that is to take place between June and September, with vice-captain Rahane leading in his stead, the announcement of which was made by the board on Twitter.
Among the unfamiliar names in India’s squad for the limited-overs fixtures against Ireland and England happens to be Kaul, who is currently 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. Rayudu has pulled off one impressive performance after another in the current season of the IPL, and as such finds himself donning the ‘Orange Cap’ — worn by the top run-getter in tournament.
The BCCI also announced the India ‘A’ squads for the tour of the United Kingdom, with Shreyas Iyer and Karun Nair being selected as the captain of the squads for the one-day triangular series and the four-day series respectively. While India ‘A’ squad for the tri-series also includes U-19 star Shubman Gill and Prasidh Krishna, both of whom are members of Kolkata Knight Riders’ squad this season, the four-day squad features Rajneesh Gurbani, who finished as the second-highest wicket-taker in Ranji Trophy 2017-18, and was also a key figure in Vidarbha’s victorious campaign
After the conclusion of the 11th edition of the IPL, the Indian team will prepare for the one-off Test against Afghanistan that takes place between 14 to 18 June at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, with the occasion being a historic one given that it's Afghanistan's first-ever Test. The Afghan cricket team, who are the newest entrants in the Test club alongside Ireland, are currently based out of Greater Noida in India's National Capital Region.
Following the one-off Test, India are scheduled to fly to the British Isles, where their campaign is set to kick off with a two-T20I series against Ireland, both matches taking place at at the Malahide Cricket Club ground near the Irish capital Dublin. India's highly-anticipated tour of England follows thereafter, which includes three T20Is, as many one-dayers and five Tests.
The ghosts of the 2014 tour, in which India went down to the hosts 1-3 in a five-Test rubber despite grabbing the series lead with a victory at Lord's, has propelled the likes of regular skipper Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma, etc to fly to England well before the tour to practise their trade in the County Championship. Kohli is set to join Surrey later this summer after finishing his duties at the ongoing IPL.
India squad for Afghanistan Test: Ajinkya Rahane(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Shardul Thakur.
India squad for Ireland T20Is: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Siddhart Kaul, Umesh Yadav.
India squad for England T20Is: Virat Kohli(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni(wk), Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Siddhart Kaul, Umesh Yadav.
India squad for England ODIs: Virat Kohli(c), 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, Siddhart Kaul, Umesh Yadav.
India 'A' squad for one-day tri-series in UK: Shreyas Iyer (c), Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Hanuma Vihari, Sanju Samson, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), Vijay Shankar, Krishnappa Gowtham, Axar Patel, Krunal Pandya, Prasidh Krishna, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Shardul Thakur.
India 'A' squad for four-day series in UK: Karun Nair(c), Ravikumar Samarth, Mayank Agarwal, AR Easwaran, Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari, Ankit Bawne, Vijay Shankar, KS Bharat (wk), Jayant Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Ankit Rajpoot, Md Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Rajneesh Gurbani.