On the evening of the 1st T20I against South Africa, the Indian team was dealt with a major blow as their stand-in captain for the series KL Rahul was ruled out of the whole series with an injury. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) revealed that Rahul sustained a groin injury and hence has been ruled out of all five matches. Rishabh Pant will now lead the side in Rahul’s absence.
The BCCI also confirmed the ruling out of spinner Kuldeep Yadav. “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,” said BCCI on Wednesday.
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.@Paytm #INDvSA
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 8, 2022
Now, with KL Rahul ruled out, 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.
Tough task lies ahead of Rishabh Pant
India had already selected a side with youngsters and non-regular players. The big names like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami were given a break considering a long tour to England in July. And now with KL Rahul also injured, a tough task lies ahead of Rishabh Pant to lead the side and win against a Temba Bavuma-led South Africa.
While Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan are expected to open the innings for India in the 1st T20I in absence of KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer may be asked to bat at No.3. Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya are expected to take No.4 and No.5 positions respectively. Meanwhile, Dinesh Karthik will be doing the finishing job coming in at No.6. Notably, India plays South Africa in the 1st T20I on Thursday (9 June) at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.