BCCI considering second-string team for Afghanistan series

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Contrary to earlier reports suggesting the cancellation of the proposed home series against Afghanistan due to a cramped schedule, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is now considering the possibility of fielding a second-string team for the series. This move comes as a means to provide much-needed rest to senior players, including ODI and Test captains Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, ahead of the West Indies tour.

After enduring an intense Indian Premier League (IPL) season that lasted nearly two months, all Indian players are set to participate in the upcoming World Test Championship (WTC) final in England.

With the WTC final already demanding their full attention, senior players such as Kohli and Rohit will require adequate rest before embarking on the challenging tour of the West Indies, where all three formats of the game will be played.

Considering the limited window available for the Afghanistan series, scheduled between June 20 and 30, the BCCI is contemplating either shortening the series or transforming it into a T20I or ODI series. The proposed second-string side, led by Hardik Pandya, would then be entrusted with the responsibility of representing India.

During his visit to India for the IPL final, Mirwais Ashraf, the president of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), will hold discussions with the BCCI to finalise the details of the proposed white-ball series between the two nations. This meeting coincides with a scheduled gathering of the Asian Cricket Council, providing an ideal opportunity for both boards to solidify their plans.

Following the conclusion of the IPL, the Indian team has a jam-packed schedule ahead.

While the coaching staff and some team members have already departed for England to prepare for the WTC final against Australia, an extensive tour of the Caribbean is also on the horizon. India is scheduled to play two Tests, three ODIs, and five T20Is against the West Indies from July 12 to August 13.

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Vishwas Gupta