KL Rahul, the stand-in captain for India in the five-match T20I series against South Africa, has been ruled out of the entire series due to a groin injury. In his absence, Rishabh Pant will be leading the team and Hardik Pandya will be the vice-captain. Along with Rahul, left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav too is out injured after suffering a blow to his right hand in the nets.
"The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant as Captain and Hardik Pandya as vice-captain for the home series against South Africa," the BCCI tweeted. "Team India Captain KL Rahul has been ruled out of the T20I series against South Africa owing to a right groin injury while Kuldeep Yadav will miss out in the T20I series after getting hit on his right hand while batting in the nets last evening,” the board said in another tweet.
This is the second time in four months Rahul has been ruled out of an international series due to injury. In February, the wicketkeeper batsman was ruled out of the three-match T20I series against West Indies after picking up hamstring injury.
Pant’s captaincy, meanwhile, was widely criticised during the IPL and he will be looking to make a positive impression as the captain of India.
South Africa are in India for five T20Is. This is their first T20 international assignment after the T20 World Cup last year. They will be led by Temba Bavuma and have some match-winners in the likes of David Miller, Kagiso Rabada and Quinton de Kock, all of whom put up some fine performances in the recently-concluded IPL 2022.