IND vs SA 2022: Injured KL Rahul & Kuldeep out of T20I Series, Pant to lead Indian Team

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IND vs SA 2022: Injured KL Rahul & Kuldeep out of T20I Series, Pant to lead Indian Team

Injuries have taken a toll on the Indian team as KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav both have been ruled out of the IND vs SA 2022, T20I series because of their respective injuries. KL Rahul who was named as the Captain of India’s T20I squad in the absence of Rohit Sharma has suffered a right groin injury. On the other hand, Kuldeep Yadav suffered an injury on his right hand while batting in the nets at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla, where the first game will be played on Thursday.

In the absence of KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant will lead the T20I squad while Hardik Pandya who recently led Gujarat titans to their maiden IPL title in the 2022 season will serve as Rishabh’s deputy. The BCCI while announcing the updates has confirmed that no replacement for the injured players had been asked for and that both Rahul and Kuldeep would “report to the NCA [National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru] where the medical team will assess them further and decide on the future course of treatment”.

KL Rahul was appointed as the Captain for the five-match T20I series after India’s regular captain Rohit Sharma was rested for the series. This series could have also served as the testing ground of  Rahul’s leadership skills as he has been viewed as the potential successor of Rohit Sharma for leading the national side in all formats of cricket. Now with Virat & Rohit already being rested for the series & KL Rahul being ruled out due to an injury, India will bow be without the services of their top three players. Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, and Venkatesh Iyer are the main options for the opening slots, with Deepak Hooda and Shreyas Iyer the other top-order options.

The timing of the injury will be a cause for concern for KL Rahul as well as the team management as he was also named in India’s squad for England tour which will start with the one-off Test – around the corner. KL Rahul is an integral part of the Test squad which will be played from July 1 to 5 in Birmingham and is part of the World Test Championship. The Test is a part of the five-match Pataudi Trophy Test series, which was cut short after the first four Tests last year because of a Covid-19 situation. Rahul was India’s second-highest run-getter in those four Tests with 315 runs in eight innings, only behind Rohit’s tally of 368.

Injury spate continues to haunt KL Rahul since last year. Last November, KL Rahul missed the two-Test home series against New Zealand due to a left thigh strain. He was fit for the South Africa tour played in December-January, but a left-hamstring injury followed during the ODI series against West Indies in February which ruled Rahul out of the T20s. Failing to recover from that injury in time, Rahul missed the Test & t20I series against Sri Lanka in February-March. However, he recovered on time for the IPL 2022 & guided his team to the Playoffs stage right in their debut IPL season.

IND vs SA 2022: Revised India Squad

Rishabh Pant (capt, wk), Hardik Pandya (vice-capt), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik

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