KL Rahul has been ruled out of the five-match T20I series against South Africa starting Thursday. Rahul was set to lead India in the series in the absence of Rohit Sharma, but now Rishabh Pant will be captaining the team and Hardik Pandya will be his deputy. (More Cricket News)
This comes as a big blow to the Men in Blue, who were already without the likes of several star players in the series. Notably, Kuldeep Yadav, who was selected in the 18-member squad initially, will also miss the series due to injury.
"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 in a release.
"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 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," it added.
The India vs South Africa series kicks off with the first T20I taking place at Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi on Thursday.
Updated India Squad For South Africa Series
Rishabh Pant (Captain and wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.