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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

In Virat Kohli's absence Ajinkya Rahane to lead India against Afghanistan

Kohli to represent Surrey in June after signing one-month contract with English county side to prepare for Test series against England this year

Ajinkya Rahane, right, will be leading India full-time in a Test for the second time. Dinuka Liyanawatte / Reuters
Ajinkya Rahane, right, will be leading India full-time in a Test for the second time. Dinuka Liyanawatte / Reuters

Ajinkya Rahane will lead India against Afghanistan, who play their first Test at Bangalore in June, in the absence of regular captain Virat Kohli, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said on Tuesday.

Kohli will represent Surrey in June after signing a one-month contract with the English county side to prepare for the Test series against England later this year.

He will return to lead India in the limited-overs series in Ireland in June before they head to England for three Twenty20 internationals, three one-day internationals and a five-Test series starting in August.

Afghanistan will play their inaugural Test match from June 14 at Bangalore's M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

The South Asian country and Ireland joined the ranks of full member nations of the International Cricket Council last year, taking the total number of Test-playing countries to 12.

India also decided to manage the workloads of other Test regulars, opting to rest batsman Rohit Sharma and pace duo Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah for the Afghanistan game.

Batsman Karun Nair, seamer Shardul Thakur and left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav were drafted in. Thakur is yet to play in the five-day format for India.

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The world's top-ranked Test side last played the longest format in January in South Africa, where they lost a hard-fought three-Test series 2-1.

Uncapped medium-pacer Siddarth Kaul made it into both India's T20 and 50-over sides for the tour of Ireland and England after impressive performances for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.

Batsmen Lokesh Rahul and Ambati Rayudu were also rewarded with spots in the ODI side after strong showings in the IPL.

India squads

Test squad against Afghanistan: Rahane (c), Dhawan, Vijay, Rahul, Pujara, Karun, Saha, Ashwin, Jadeja, Kuldeep, Umesh, Shami, Pandya, Ishant, Thakur.

T20 squad against Ireland and England: Kohli (c), Dhawan, Rohit, Rahul, Raina, Pandey, Dhoni, Karthik, Chahal, Kuldeep, Sundar, Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah, Pandya, Kaul, Umesh.

ODI squad against England: Kohli (c), Dhawan, Rohit, Rahul, Shreyas, Rayudu, Dhoni, Karthik, Chahal, Kuldeep, Sundar, Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah, Pandya, Kaul, Umesh