Faf du Plessis shall not lead the South African team in the one-off four-day day-night Test against Zimbabwe starting Tuesday as shoulder and back injuries continue to plague the Proteas batsman.
His return to competitive cricket was further delayed when he developed a viral infection this week in an attempt at recovering from the injuries. In his place, AB de Villiers who has not featured in a Test since last January – will step in as the captain.
“Faf has been making steady progress from the respective back and shoulder injuries and until last week was on track to make a comeback in this match. He developed a respiratory tract infection which delayed his recovery this week, and subsequently made it difficult for him to make a full recovery in time for the match.
He will continue to receive treatment and rehab from our physiotherapist, Craig Govender, and we are hopeful he will recover in time to lead the team for the first Test match against India starting in Cape Town on January 5th,” said Proteas team manager, Dr Mohammed Moosajee.
Faf had given himself 60 per cent chance of being fit for the contest which will see South Africa host their first day-night Test. He had suffered a shoulder injury two months ago and had undergone surgery to address a longstanding issue. With his presence into the side remaining doubtful on Sunday, Dean Elgar was expected to lead the side but that responsibility has been handed to de Villiers.
“It is unfortunate that Faf is missing out due to injury but we would rather take the precaution ahead of a busy summer of cricket at home. AB has captained South Africa in both the limited-overs and Test formats and his experience and expertise will be invaluable for this first Test match of the season. This is a one-off appointment and we thank AB for accepting the decision at such short notice,” said National Selection Panel Convenor, Linda Zondi.