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NEW DELHI: India’s KL Rahul has been ruled out of the five-match Twenty20 international series against South Africa at home due to a groin injury, the country’s cricket board said Wednesday.

The Indian opener was appointed captain of the team after all-format skipper Rohit Sharma and superstar Virat Kohli took a break following the end of the Indian Premier League tournament last month.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant will lead the side in his place for the series, which begins Thursday in New Delhi.

Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav will also be absent after getting hit on his right hand while batting in the nets, according to a release by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Hardik Pandya, who last month led Gujarat Titans to IPL triumph in their opening season, has been named vice-captain.

“The selection committee has not named a replacement for KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav,” the BCCI statement said.

“Both the cricketers will now report to the NCA (National Cricket Academy) where the medical team will assess them further and decide on the future course of treatment.”

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

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