KL Rahul ruled out of T20 South Africa series, Rishabh Pant to captain

KL Rahul ruled out of T20 South Africa series, Rishabh Pant to captain

KL Rahul, India's stand-in captain series against South Africa for the five-match T20I series, has been ruled out due to a groin injury. The development takes place before the series opener in New Delhi's Arun Jaitley Stadium on Thursday, and in Rahul's absence, Pant will be leading the team.

Besides KL Rahul, left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav is too injured after copping a blow to his right hand while batting Tuesday evening and will take no part in any of the five matches. In another exciting announcement, the BCCI named Hardik Pandya as the vice-captain for the series.

Rahul did not participate in India's practice session on either Tuesday or Wednesday. However, he did turn up for the first optional net session on Monday, where he mainly batted against spinners. Rahul looked impressive as he played against Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, and Axar Patel and played the sweeps and the lofted strokes with ease and somewhat disdain. With Rahul out, Ruturaj Gaikwad is expected to open the batting for India with Ishan Kishan.

Read More: India achieve Guinness World Record

Pant's captaincy has been highly talked about since he led Delhi Capitals to the IPL Playoffs last year, and he would get a fair chance to provide a case for himself. Pant, 24, is one of the candidates to replace Rohit Sharma as the next captain but faces competition from Rahul and Hardik. Under Rahul, India got drubbed in South Africa earlier this year, losing the ODI series 0-3. Even when he led India in the second Test in Johannesburg in Virat Kohli's absence, India ended up losing.

Hardik's appointment augurs well for the all-rounder. With Pant, his name has been floating around as a potential successor to Rohit, especially after he led Gujarat Titans to their maiden IPL title in their maiden and his debut season as captain.

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