India’s skipper KL Rahul has been ruled out of the five-match T20i series against South Africa owing to a groin injury. Rishabh Pant, who was named his deputy ahead of the series, will now lead the side. Hardik Pandya will now be the vice-captain of the team.
In another development, Kuldeep Yadav also has been ruled out of the series. He suffered an injury while batting in the nets ahead of the first game at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. The BCCI has yet to name replacements for the injured players.
NEWS ?- KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav ruled out of #INDvSA series owing to injury.
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 8, 2022
Gutted by the situation, KL Rahul took to Twitter and said, “Hard to accept but I begin another challenge today. Gutted not to be leading the side for the first time at home, but the boys have all my support from the sidelines. Heartfelt thanks to all for your support. Wishing Rishabh and the boys all the luck for the series. See you soon.”
Here is his Tweet
Hard to accept but I begin another challenge today. Gutted not to be leading the side for the first time at home, but the boys have all my support from the sidelines.Heartfelt thanks to all for your support.Wishing Rishabh and the boys all the luck for the series.See you soon??
— K L Rahul (@klrahul) June 8, 2022
In the meantime, the issue of who would bat open the batting for India has surfaced. While India has solid choices in Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad, both players have recently struggled. They did not have any significant contribution to their respective teams in the Indian T20 League 2022.
Rahul Dravid and Rishabh Pant also face another challenge for India’s third seamer option. The role is being sought by Umran Malik, Avesh Khan, and Arshdeep Singh. However, since Dravid feels Umran is not yet ready, either Avesh or Arshdeep will be selected. Two frontline pacers will be Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel.
“We just have to see how much playing time we will be able to give him. We have a big squad, not possible to have everyone in the playing XI. He is exciting, certainly bowls quick and has pace,” Rahul Dravid said at the press conference on Tuesday.
India’s Probable Playing XI for the first match
Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Hardik Pandya (vc), Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan/ Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal