NEW DELHI: A day before the first T20I against South Africa, India captain KL Rahul was ruled out of the five-match series due to an injury, and the unfortunate exit understandably left him disappointed.
Rishabh Pant was named as India’s captain, replacing Rahul who wished Pant all the luck. All-rounder Hardik Pandya will take over as vice-captain of the side, with seniors Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli rested for the series.
In a message on his Twitter account, KL Rahul expressed his feelings after his chance to lead India for the first time at home ended in disappointment.
He wrote, “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.”

Apart from Rahul, spinner Kuldeep Yadav also has been ruled out of the series due to injury.
According to the BCCI statement, Rahul will miss out due to a right groin injury while Kuldeep will miss the series after getting hit on his right hand while batting in the nets.
India will take on South Africa in the first T20I at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Thursday.

India will also be chasing history in the first match of the series. Should they win the opener in Delhi, India will achieve an all-time record of winning 13 consecutive T20Is.
After delivering great performances in IPL 2022, pacers Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik got their maiden Team India call-up for the series and are among the ones who will be closely watched.

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