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NEW DELHI: K L Rahul will lead India in the absence of top stars Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma next month in five Twenty20 internationals against South Africa at home.

Several senior players including all-format captain Sharma will only return for the one-off Test in Birmingham beginning July 1 as India and England attempt to complete their unfinished five-match series, which India lead 2-1.

Squad selectors issued a maiden call-up for pace sensation Umran Malik and left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh for the 18-member Twenty20 squad against South Africa.

Both Malik and Singh have impressed with their stellar performances during the ongoing Indian Premier League.

Right-hand batsman Cheteshwar Pujara also received a callback for the 17-member Test squad on the back of his superb performance for Sussex in England’s County Championship, while wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik earned a place in the 18-member Twenty20 team.

All-format seamer Jasprit Bumrah has also been rested for the Twenty20 series, which begins June 9 in Delhi, but earned a spot in the Test squad.

India under Sharma will be playing at full strength in the crucial Test match against England, which had been scheduled for last September at Old Trafford but was postponed following Covid-19 cases in the Indian camp.

Test squad: Rohit Sharma (capt), K.L. Rahul (vice-capt), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), K.S. Bharat (wk), R. Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohd Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna

Twenty20 squad: K.L. Rahul (capt), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vice-capt, wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.

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