Ajinkya Rahane most likely lead the Indian team in the one-off Test against debutants Afghanistan in Bengaluru, starting June 14. Regular captain Virat Kohli will be heading to Surrey to play in the county championship to prepare for the England tour in July.
The national selection committee will meet on Tuesday (May 8) to pick six different India squads – one-off Test against Afghanistan, India ‘A’ team for tour of England, ‘A’ team for tri-series involving England ‘A’ and West Indies ‘A’, T20 squad for tour of Ireland, T20 squad for tour of England, One-day squad for matches in England.
Kohli is likely to be back with the team once India land in Ireland to embark on what will be a long series of two T20Is in Ireland, followed by three T20Is in England, three ODIs in England and the five Tests.
Pujara has wrapped up his stint with Yorkshire and will be available to play in the Test against Afghanistan.
Openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay, along with off-spinner R Ashwin, wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik, and Mumbai Indians all-rounder Krunal Pandya will be among the cricketers part of the India ‘A’ team. A senior BCCI office-bearer told TOI, “Expect Pandya to be part of India’s T20 team, the way he’s been going about with his game”.
“Expect the batsmen to get a lot of playing hours and a very balanced work-chart for the pacers,” sources said.
Dinesh Karthik is expected to play a huge role in India’s limited overs format teams and is expected to be rewarded with a place in the squad, despite the presence of MS Dhoni behind the stumps. Regular India names such as Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Hardik Pandya will find themselves playing the Test match against Afghanistan.
(With inputs from TOI)