'We do not have many openers, you guys can guess' - Skipper Rishabh Pant on KL Rahul's replacement

KL Rahul has been ruled out of the series after suffering an injury.

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Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant has been named as the skipper of the Indian side after KL Rahul was ruled out owing to a groin injury on June 8 (Wednesday). The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has not named any replacement for Rahul with the talented batter Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan already in the squad.

Ahead of the first T20I against South Africa, the left-handed batter gave a clue that the Chennai Super Kings batter Gaikwad is expected to replace Rahul at the opening slot and take the crease along with Ishan Kishan at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on June 9 (Thursday).

There will be one change for sure: Rishabh Pant

“I think there would not be many changes in the batting order as KL would have opened. There will be one change for sure, we do not have many openers… You guys can guess. We will discuss the team after some time,” Pant was quoted by News18.

Talking about Gaikwad’s performance in IPL this year, the right-handed batter was not at best during the edition as he scored 368 runs at an average of 26.29 for the Yellow Army in IPL 2022.

“It’s a very good feeling although it didn’t come in good circumstances. The news just came in for me as well an hour back so I’m also processing it. I haven’t even digested the information yet. It is a great feeling getting this opportunity, especially in my hometown,” Pant said.

“My batting order will depend on the conditions. In these conditions, we can’t have a floating batting line-up because we play spinners day in and day out. But if we need a floating batting line up we will have it,“ the India skipper added.

It must be noted that the Men in Blue are already without the services of their senior players including Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah. It will be interesting to see how the Indian side tackles the South Africa squad with several big names missing from the squad.

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