Sensible to stick with Kuldeep, Chahal in shorter formats, says Prasad

Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja continue to be sidelined from India's limited overs sides for the upcoming England Tour.

Amithabh Choudhary BCCI Secretary and MSK Prasad (right) Chairman Senior Selection Committee announcing team list for Paytm Test against Afghanistan   -  G. P. Sampath Kumar

Ajinkya Rahane will lead India in Virat Kohli's absence in next month's one-off Test against Afghanistan, it was announced here on Tuesday. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have also been left out of the side, with a view to managing their workloads, while Karun Nair has been favoured over Rohit Sharma.

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The Senior Selection Committee comprising Chairman M.S.K. Prasad, Devang Gandhi and Sarandeep Singh, and India-A coach Rahul Dravid met here in the evening. Five different squads were announced in total, including India's T20I team for series against Ireland and England, the ODI team for the England series, and India-A sides for one-day and four-day fixtures against England Lions and West Indies-A in the UK.

Kohli will miss the Afghanistan Test while he turns out for Surrey in the English County Championship as preparation for India's long tour later this year, a decision that has Prasad's endorsement. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma, who are playing for Yorkshire and Sussex respectively, will however be part of the one-off fixture in Bengaluru.

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There was no Test call-up for Shreyas Iyer but the Mumbai batsman is part of the ODI unit and will lead the India-A team in the one-day tri-series against England Lions and West Indies-A.

Karun Nair was dropped for India's tour of South Africa earlier this year but the Karnataka batsman was not only recalled to the Test side but was also named captain of India-A for the four-day games.

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Asked why no Test regulars were named in the India-A sides for the four-day games, Prasad stated: “We did discuss it. We had a meeting with Virat and Ravi (Shastri) and also Rahul (Dravid). Some of the Test specialists like Wriddhiman Saha, M. Vijay and Md. Shami...they will join us for the third India-A game and from there they will go and play against Essex (tour game) and continue with the Test team.”

There was no place for Rahane or Manish Pandey in India's ODI team for England while K.L. Rahul was recalled (in this format). Also included were Ambati Rayudu, Umesh Yadav and Siddarth Kaul, on the back of fine performances in the ongoing IPL. Kaul, who has 13 wickets at an economy rate of 7.05 this IPL, is also part of India's T20I team for the Ireland and England series.

R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who have not played limited-overs cricket for India since the tour of West Indies last July, were left out of the white-ball sides again, with Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar preferred instead.

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“Of course [they stand a chance of coming back],” said Prasad of Ashwin and Jadeja. “When they were excluded from the side, we made it very clear that two to three youngsters are being given an opportunity. It makes sense to give them a long rope. If you see the number of wickets they have taken in the last year or so, it's very heartening. And they have kept on improving game after game. It makes sense to continue with them when they are winning games for us at home and abroad.”

The Ranji Trophy performances of Mayank Agarwal and Rajneesh Gurbani were only good enough for berths in the India-A teams while Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill, stars from India's U-19 World Cup triumph, were called up to the A side for the one-day tri-series.