Johannesburg: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Saturday that the national selectors have named opener KL Rahul as the vice-captain of the team for the three-match Test series against South Africa.
Rahul’s appointment to the post comes after Rohit Sharma, promoted to be Virat Kohli’s deputy, was ruled out of the series due to a left hamstring injury sustained in a practice session in Mumbai. Sharma had earlier replaced Ajinkya Rahane as the vice-captain in Tests.
“The All-India Senior selection committee has named KL Rahul as vice-captain for the upcoming 3-match Test series against South Africa. KL Rahul replaces Rohit Sharma as vice-captain, who was ruled out of the Test series owing to a hamstring injury,” said a release from BCCI.
The 29-year-old Rahul, who debuted in Test cricket in 2014, has played 40 matches so far and scored 2321 runs at an average of 35.16 with six centuries and 12 half-centuries against his name. The move also means that Rahul, one of the few all-format players in the current Indian team set-up, is being looked at as a long-term leader in the future.
Rahul had captained Punjab Kings in IPL 2020 and 2021 and is highly tipped to take a similar role if the Lucknow franchise picks him via the draft ahead of IPL 2022 auctions.
India have commenced their practice sessions in South Africa. The three-match Test series will start from December 26 to 30 in Centurion, followed by the second match in Johannesburg from January 3 to 7, and ends with the third and final Test in Cape Town from January 11 to 15. India are yet to win a Test series in South Africa.
India’s Test squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Priyank Panchal, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj.