New Delhi, June 8: Ahead of India's first T20 International match against South Africa, the hosts were dealt a blow as skipper KL Rahul was ruled out of the entire five-match series due to a right groin injury.
With Rahul missing out and regular skipper Rohit Sharma rested, vice-captain Rishabh Pant will lead the side for the T20 series against visitors South Africa. Coming back into the side, Hardik Pandya, who led Gujarat Titans to the IPL title in their maiden season, will serve as Pant's deputy.
Along with Rahul, Kuldeep Yadav too was ruled out on the eve of the first match after being hit on his right hand while batting in the nets on Monday evening.
On the eve of the match, BCCI announced, "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 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 statement read.
No replacement has been named for the two injured players and the duo will now head to NCA to assess the next step. "The selection committee has not named a replacement for KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav. Both the cricketers will now report to the NCA where the medical team will assess them further and decide on the future course of treatment," the statement stated.
India will take on visitors South Africa in the first T20I of the five-match series at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday.
India's T20I squad:
Rishabh Pant (Captain)(wk), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik