Team India suffered a major jolt on Wednesday with captain KL Rahul ruled out of the T20I series against South Africa due to a right groin injury. Spinner Kuldeep Yadav will also not be a part of the series after being hit on his right hand during a practice session in the nets the previous day. Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant will now lead the side in Rahul's absence while all-rounder Hardik Pandya will serve as his deputy during the five games starting on Thursday when the first match will be played at Delhi's Arun Jaitley Stadium.

“Team India Captain KL Rahul has been ruled out of the T20I series against South Africa owing to a right groin injury while Kuldeep Yadav will miss out in the T20I series after getting hit on his right hand while batting in the nets last evening,” the BCCI said in a statement on the eve of the first match.

“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,” the BCCI statement added.

BCCI, however, hasn't announced replacements for the two injured cricketers.

Both Kuldeep Yadav and KL Rahul will now spend some time at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru where their fitness would be assessed before charting out the next course of action. The NCA is currently headed by Indian legend VVS Laxman after its former head Rahul Dravid took over as national coach last year.

“The selection committee has not named a replacement for KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav. Both the cricketers will now report to the NCA where the medical team will assess them further and decide on the future course of treatment,” the Indian's board statement read.

KL Rahul's injury, however, could be a blessing in disguise for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener Ruturaj Gaikwad as he's now almost certain to get a spot at the top of the order in the Indian line-up.

He will have Ishan Kishan's company as the duo will open the innings for India in the absence of regular captain Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.

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But it will be interesting to see who bats at the crucial No.3 spot. With Virat Kohli not around after being rested for the series against the Proteas that position is up for grabs with Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer being the two possible contenders.

Even Hardik Pandya could be tried out there, considering he's coming off a brilliant Indian Premier League (IPL).

Knowing Rishabh Pant, who's known for taking a gamble or two, he could have a floater at No.3 as that would allow him the flexibility of sending someone to bat as per the situation of the match.

Meanwhile, the Indian cricket team is on the verge of a massive world record in T20Is.

Having won their last 12 matches in the shortest format, which put them at par with Afghanistan's 12 consecutive victories, India would look to make the record their own by beating the South Africans in the national capital. This would make them the first Test-playing country to secure 13 T20Is wins in a row.

The Indians are currently ranked No.1 in the official ICC rankings for T20Is.

India's T20I squad: Rishabh Pant (Captain)(wk), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), 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