India’s full-time captain Rohit Sharma, opener KL Rahul and several regular players will be rested for the five-match T20I series vs South Africa, which is scheduled to begin on June 9. In their absence, Hardik Pandya or Shikhar Dhawan will lead the side, a senior BCCI source privy to the development told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

Also read: IPL 2022: Umesh Yadav returns for KKR vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

The players are being rested keeping the upcoming England tour in mind. India are set to play Ben Stokes and co in a Test match from July 1 to 5. Rohit Sharma and co will then participate in a three-match ODI series. 

The T20I series against South Africa will take place across five venues – New Delhi, Cuttack, Visakhapatnam, Rajkot and Bengaluru. 

The players to be rested, as per the PTI source, are – Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant. The squad for the SA series is likely to be selected on May 22. 

Also read: IPL 2022: MS Dhoni’s gift makes MI youngster’s day | Watch

“All the senior India players will get at least three and half weeks of complete rest. Rohit, Virat, KL, Rishabh and Jasprit will all directly go to England for the ‘fifth Test’ following the white-ball series. We need all our key players to remain fresh for the England series,” the PTI source said. 

The PTI had reported that Virat Kohli will also get a break. 

 “The selectors have a couple of choices. Shikhar Dhawan, as he has already captained India in absence of Virat, Rohit and Rahul during last year’s Sri Lanka series. But Hardik Pandya’s impressive captaincy for Gujarat Titans hasn’t gone unnoticed. So it will be a close call,” the source added, when asked about captaincy. 

Also read: CBI books 7 persons for alleged match-fixing, betting in IPL 2019

“Our pace bowling department is set and selectors might not experiment too much. But yes, Mohsin has impressed almost everyone with his pace, bounce and swing in this edition. He does have a chance. Having said that, not ruling out Umran or Arshdeep either, but Mohsin might just be slightly ahead,” he added.