Rahane to lead India in Afghanistan's inaugural Test

Karun Nair replaces Kohli for Afghanistan Test, Kaul in T20 squad

With regular skipper Kohli preferring a stint with Surrey in English county over Afghanistan's maiden Test, Rahane has once again been seen as the most suitable candidate to lead India.

Now, with India playing a full series - five Tests, three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals - in England in July-September, and two T20Is in Ireland before that, Kohli will spend a month playing red-ball as well as white-ball cricket for Surrey to get ready.

Ajinkya Rahane will be leading India in the historic one-off Test with nearly all the Test team specialists being a part of the 15-member squad. "I can understand why they are not wanting to play D-N Test matches". That's what makes the best team in the world.

While the "Prince of Kolkata" felt that including Shreyas Iyer in the ODI squad for England series was a "good decision", he was surprised by Karun Nair's selection for the Test against the Afghans.

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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. In the process, Kohli will be skipping India's one-off Test against debutants Afghanistan.

Amitabh Chaudhary, the acting BCCI secretary, opened his address to the media in Bangalore by comparing the Afghanistan Test to India's historic 1932 foray against England, at Lord's in 1932. Remember, India have never beaten Australia in Australia.

Afghanistan will play their inaugural test match from June 14 in Bengaluru's M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Dropped from the Indian Test squad after the home series against Australia in March a year ago, middle-order batsman Karun Nair is set to return to the India fold with the historic one-off Test match against Afghanistan starting in Bengaluru on June 14.

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The bits on selection that seemed more intriguing were the fates of India's vice-captains. The selectors didn't experiment with any of the limited overs squad, with senior batsman Rayudu making a comeback in the wake of some good performances. He wasn't part of the ODI side in South Africa.

Murali Vijay, when fit, walks into the Indian Test side.

"Definitely it's fantastic preparation and it shows his determination and how hungry he is to perform individually and how much he wants India to be successful".

"Our focus remains Test cricket and we continue to believe that this is one format which is normally the genesis of cricket in the world and it is something we need to nurse all time", he added.

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