Rohit Sharma ruled out of India's South Africa Test series

Rohit, who has led the batting charts for India in Tests this year, will miss the three-match Test series that will begin on December 26.

Rohit recently suffered a hit on his hand during a net session in Mumbai.   -  AP

India's Test vice-captain Rohit Sharma has suffered a left hamstring injury during a net session in Mumbai on Sunday and has been ruled out of the test tour to South Africa.

Gujarat’s opening batter Priyank Panchal, who recently featured in the India A team tour of South Africa, has been drafted into the Test squad.

"Team India Test vice-captain Rohit Sharma sustained a left hamstring injury during his training session here in Mumbai yesterday. He has been ruled out of the upcoming 3-match Test series against South Africa. Priyank Panchal will replace Rohit Sharma in the Test squad," the Board secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.

The medical team is assessing the situation and it is believed that Sharma has been advised some rest and a further call could be taken at a later stage.

Panchal, who was part of the India A tour of South Africa, has been asked to join the Indian team bubble in Mumbai and undergo mandatory quarantine. “The team management thought that it would be a wise decision to call up Panchal as the cover. Even though the medical team will take a final call, Rohit might take some time to be completely match fit,” a source in the Board said.

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With the team set to leave for South Africa on December 16, Ajinkya Rahane may just be asked to continue as the vice-captain for the series in Rohit’s absence. However, if Rohit is unavailable for the ODIs - to be held in January - the selectors could give a stand-in responsibility to Virat Kohli or look for a new face. Sources indicate that even K.L. Rahul could be seen as a stand-in captain in case Kohli is not considered for the role.

“It’s too early to comment on this. The selectors are expected to make the ODI squad in a day or two and they are aware of all the developments and will take a call accordingly,” the source said. The Test series starts on December 26.

India’s Test squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Priyank Panchal, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Md. Siraj

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