Michael Clarke surprised with Virat Kohli's decision to skip the Afghanistan Test

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India's captain Virat Kohli will not play in this Test because he is going to England to play County Cricket for Surrey and Ajinkya Rahane will lead the squad in his absence. "It was only because that the English challenge is something which we have to rise to that Virat will abstain (from the Afghanistan Test) for the right reasons", said Choudhary.

Selectors also announced squads for two-match T2OI series against Ireland, three-match T20I series against England, three-match ODI series against England, the India "A" team for the one-day Tri-series against England Lions and West Indies "A" and the India "A" team for the two four-day games against West Indies "A" and one four-day match against England Lions. Shardul Thakur, who is yet to make his Test debut, will be the fourth pacer. Ironically, it was Kohli, who had missed the Test match then due to a shoulder injury.

Pacer Ishant Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara - who are now playing for Sussex and Yorkshire - will return to India for the Test against Afghanistan.

About India's unwillingness to play a D-N Test in Australia, Clarke said: "I think the Indian team management feels that they know the conditions that will suit them best to beat Australia. We continue to believe that it is one format we need to nurse all the time", said Choudhary, who also announced the squad for the Afghanistan Test. India's refusal to play a day-night Test in the Australian summer though has not.

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Following the one-off Test, India are scheduled to fly to the British Isles, where their campaign is set to kick off with a two-T20I series against Ireland, both matches taking place at at the Malahide Cricket Club ground near the Irish capital Dublin. Ajinkya Rahane will lead the squad while Shreyas Iyer has been roped in as Virat Kohli's replacement. It is always good that he goes there and performs well. Hardik Pandya is the only all-rounder while the seasoned duo of Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami are expected to share the new ball. This is Afghanistan's debut in Test cricket after ICC handed full membership to Afghanistan and Ireland a year ago which allowed them to play Test cricket. "It is a great opportunity for us to win the series", chairman of selectors Prasad said at a media conference.

Batsman Karun Nair, seamer Shardul Thakur and left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav were drafted in.

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.

For T2OIs against Ireland and England: Virat Kohli (captain), Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar, Jasprit Bumrah, H Pandya, Siddharth Kaul, U Yadav.

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