Team India wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant has been named as captain of the T20I squad for the upcoming series against South Africa. All-rounder Hardik Pandya will be his deputy for the series.
KL Rahul, who was named the skipper initially, suffered a groin injury. He has been ruled out of the squad along with Kuldeep Yadav. The Board of Control for Cricket in India announced the news through social media. They wrote on Twitter,
“NEWS– KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav ruled out of #INDvSA series owing to injury. 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 @Paytm #INDvSA”
India captain KL Rahul and spinner Kuldeep Yadav will miss the home T20I series against South Africa due to injuries, Rishabh Pant will lead with Hardik as his deputy
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) June 8, 2022
This will be the first assignment for Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya in leadership roles at the International level. Rishabh Pant has been leading the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League for the past two seasons. This season, the Delhi Capitals could not manage to make it to the playoffs.
The wicketkeeper had a decent tournament with the bat. He scored 340 runs at an average of 30.91 and a strike rate of 151.78. On the other hand, the Gujarat Titans under the leadership of Hardik Pandya won the finals of the tournament. This was their maiden Indian Premier League season. Hardik Pandya finished the season as the leading run-scorer with 487 runs at an average of 44.27 and a strike rate of 131.2.
Meanwhile, let’s take a look at how the fans reacted to Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya’s appointments:
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) June 8, 2022
— Gujarat Titans (@gujarat_titans) June 8, 2022
Rishabh Pant will be leading India tomorrow for the first time. An exciting series with new faces ahead. South Africa have a solid team as well, great series on cards.
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) June 8, 2022
RISHABH PANT WINNING THIS T20 SERIES WOULD BE REALLY REALLY AMAZING 🥰❤️
ALL THE BEST RISHABH PANT.
— Cricket🏏 Lover (@CricCrazyV) June 8, 2022
— Sushant Mehta (@SushantNMehta) June 8, 2022
— Sumit (@sumittkar) June 8, 2022
— 𝑷𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒚𝒂𝒌𝒔𝒉 𝑺𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒎𝒂 💙 (@_Pratyaksh_) June 8, 2022
Very excited for a young Indian team, led by Rishabh Pant, that'll face off with a solid SA tomorrow. The thrill that comes with watching new-ish players surprise you is as much as watching a master do what s/he does best.
— Arati Raval (@AratiRaval) June 8, 2022
Youngest captain For team india @RishabhPant17 ❤️
— 𝑻𝒂𝒓𝒂𝒌_𝑆𝑖𝑣𝑎 ᴺᵀᴿ³⁰ 🗡️🪓 (@TarakSiva_NTR30) June 8, 2022
Here's wishing Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya all the very best for their first allotment for home series against South Africa as Captain and Vice-Captain respectively 🙌
— Prasad K (@Prasad_K2000) June 8, 2022
Hardik Pandya deserved to be captain after brilliant IPL season!!! https://t.co/Gw0g3S5BG5
— Gokhul S (@sundargokhul) June 8, 2022
India’s T20I squad for the SA series
The T20I series between India and South Africa will get underway on June 9 at the Arun Jaitely Stadium in Delhi. The series consists of five T20Is, with Cuttack, Vishakhapatnam, Rajkot, and Bengaluru hosting the other four.
India’s T20I squad: Rishabh Pant (Captain, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik