Reports: Ajinkya Rahane set to lead India against Afghanistan
With Virat Kohli's one-month long stint at County Championship Division One side Surrey confirmed for June, Ajinkya Rahane has emerged as the front-runner to captain the side in the one-off Test against Afghanistan in Bengaluru. The selection committee will meet in Bengaluru on May 8 to pick six different squads ahead of the summer that sees India tour England.
According to TOI, Rahane is certain to lead India in Kohli's absence and Cheteshwar Pujara, who is currently playing county cricket with Yorkshire will head back home and will play the Test against Afghanistan. Aside from that, the other regulars in the Test squad, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya are also expected to feature in the historic one-off Test against Afghanistan, which begins on June 14.
The national selection committee will meet in Bengaluru on May 8 to not only pick the squad for the one-off Test against Afghanistan but also pick the squad for the limited-overs leg of the tour of England.
India's T20 squad for the tour of England along with the tour of Ireland and the squad for the three-match ODI series against England will also be picked on Tuesday. India's three-match T20I series against England begins on July 3 while their ODI assignment against England, starts on July 12.
Before that, India will also play two T20Is against Ireland at Dublin on June 27 and 29.
Aside from the Indian squad, the India A team that will tour England and the India A team for the tri-series between England A and West Indies A will also be picked. Test regulars, KL Rahul, Murali Vijay and Ravichandran Ashwin are expected to be part of the India A team while Dinesh Karthik and Mumbai Indians all-rounder Krunal Pandya are certain to be in it as well.
Dinesh Karthik, who has been excellent in both his recent performances for India, including the Nidahas Trophy win and for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, looks set to be rewarded with a place in both the Indian ODI and T20I side even as MS Dhoni will continue to keep wickets. “Expect the batsmen to get a lot of playing hours and a very balanced work-chart for the pacers,” sources said.
Krunal Pandya is likely to be rewarded with a spot in the India A side and that could well be the stepping stone ahead of his eventual selection in the Indian T20I side, after his stellar performances for Mumbai Indians.