With regular skipper Rohit Sharma being rested, the Chetan Sharma-led selection committee has handed the captaincy responsibility to KL Rahul for India’s upcoming five-T20I series against South Africa.
Regarded as a leader for the future, Rahul captained the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) to the IPL 2022 playoffs while also being their top-scorer.
LSG may have qualified for the playoffs under him, but Rahul’s leadership still remains a work in progress as his on-field decisions often attract criticism.
According to a report in Insidesport, Rahul’s captaincy will be closely monitored by the selectors during the home T20I series versus South Africa, starting June 9.
“It will be a great opportunity for KL. The only senior around him will be Bhuvneshwar and it will be the best test for him as a potential Indian captain. I won’t say he will be under pressure but certainly, he will be closely monitored,” a member of the selection committee told Insidesport.
Apart from Rohit, senior members like Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami have also been rested for the South Africa T20Is.
Rishabh Pant has been named vice-captain of the team while Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik are making their comeback to the national side.
“See, in South Africa tour, it was a new job for him. It’s not the same as leading an IPL franchise. Leading comes with immense pressure. He made some mistakes but it was also about learning. The T20 series is where he will be benchmarked. I am sure he will do an excellent job,” the selection committee member said.
A number of IPL performers have been rewarded a place in the Indian squad. Left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh has received his maiden call-up along with SRH’s pace sensation Umran Malik while the 18-member squad also features Avesh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi among others.
India Squad for South Africa T20I Series:
KL Rahul (c), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(vc & wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Akshar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.