The 2018 IPL will finish toward the end of May and India’s test cricketers will have to get ready for a one-off test against Afghanistan which is scheduled to take place from June 14 to 18 in Bengaluru.
Selectors Choose A Rahane Over R Sharma
Captain Virat Kohli has opted not to play the one off test as he will be in England playing country cricket for Surrey and getting himself used to the conditions as India are expected to tour England in a few months’ time.
The selectors decided to appoint A Rahane as captain and close the door on R Sharma who usually stands in as the ODI and T20 captain when Kohli is absent. This will be the second test match in which Rahane will captain the side. The selectors also decided to drop R Sharma from the side as they were not impressed with his test match performances in the West Indies.
Experienced Squad To Play Against Afghanistan
The BCCI also decided to rest B Kumar and J Bumrah from the one-off test, keeping in mind their workload and the need for them to be managed carefully with the England tour coming up.
However, India will still field a very strong and experienced squad against Afghanistan. M Vijay and S Dhawan will open as usual and the middle-order will see the likes of KL Rahul, C Pujara, A Rahane and K Nair look to make big scores. W Saha returns after injury and will take the gloves once again.
K Nair will have only one opportunity to impress the selectors and see if he can book himself a place on the flight to England. The selectors do not want to risk picking him for England without giving him some time in the middle.
In a statement, MSK Prasad, chairman of selectors said “This was the best opportunity for us to give Karun a chance, because he’s been doing well. It would have been too much of a risk to try him straight in England.”
The two spinners that will play will once again be R Jadeja and R Ashwin. The pacers included in the squad include veteran I Sharma, U Yadav and M Shami. If H Pandya plays, then there will be room for just two pacers and it will be interesting to see who sits out.