Thursday, October 6, 2022

Rahul ruled out; Pant to lead India against Proteas

India skipper KL Rahul was on Wednesday ruled out of the five-match T20 International series against South Africa due to a groin injury, a day before the first match here.
Wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant, who was named as Rahul’s deputy, will lead the side in his absence. All-rounder Hardik Pandya will be the vice-captain in the series.
Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav will also miss the entire T20I series after getting hit on his right hand while batting in the nets on Tuesday.
“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 BCCI said in a statement.
“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 replacements for Rahul and Kuldeep. 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 is understood that Ruturaj Gaikwad will open the batting alongside Ishan Kishan in the series-opener on Thursday.
Will lead India with my chin up: Pant
Handed the leadership of the Indian team just a day before the five-match T20I series against South Africa, newly appointed captain Rishabh Pant said he will be taking up the responsibility with his chin up.
“It’s a very good feeling although it didn’t come in good circumstances. The news just came in for me as well an hour back so I’m also processing it,” Pant said on the eve of the first match.
“I haven’t even digested the information yet. It is a great feeling getting this opportunity, especially in my hometown,” the Delhi cricketer said.
Pant has led the IPL side Delhi Capitals for two seasons. In the just-concluded edition of the league, Pant experimented with his batting position.
Asked if he will continue shuffling his batting order, he said, “My batting order will depend on the conditions. In these conditions, we can’t have a floating batting line because we play spinners day in and day out.
“But if we need a floating batting line up we will have it,“ he added.
“As a captain, it will help me a lot. When you keep doing the same things over a period of time you tend to improve and keep learning from it and I think that will help me.”
The 24-year-old feels the DC captaincy stint in the IPL will help him in the series against South Africa.
“Captaining DC will help me a lot. I’m someone who learns from mistakes.”
Left-arm pinner Kuldeep Yadav has also been ruled out after he was hit on his right hand while batting in the nets on Tuesday.
“Not much will change in the batting order as KL was to open. There will be one change. We don’t have a lot of openers so you can guess what that will be.”
With the T20 World Cup in mind, Pant said a lot of changes can be expected in the Indian side.
“As a team, we have thought about certain goals that we want to achieve as a team. We are continuously working on them. We are thinking about the World Cup. In the coming days, you’ll see a lot of changes.”
The youngster is delighted to be working with head coach Rahul Dravid closely once again.
“It’s is the best thing to have him around. I have worked with him during the U-19 days, with India and the IPL also. So there is a lot of experience there. Lots of learning from him like how to conduct yourself on and off the field, game tactics.”