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South Africa vs Zimbabwe: Faf du Plessis ruled out, AB de Villiers to lead in 4-day Test

South Africa cricket team will be captained by AB de Villiers as Faf du Plessis is unfit to play in the one-off Test versus Zimbabwe at Port Elizabeth starting Tuesday.

cricket Updated: Dec 26, 2017 13:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
South African cricket team,Zimbabwe cricket team,Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis (R) will miss the one-off four-day Test versus Zimbabwe starting at Port Elizabeth from Tuesday. AB de Villiers will lead South Africa.(Getty Images)

South African cricket team captain Faf du Plessis has been ruled out of the day-night Test match against Zimbabwe starting at St George’s Park on Tuesday. Du Plessis developed a viral infection this week, which delayed his return to full fitness following lower back and shoulder injuries.

AB de Villiers has been appointed as the stand-in captain for the one-off match, the first official four-day Test to be played with pink balls. (See: De Villiers interview)

Proteas team manager, Dr Mohammed Moosajee explained Du Plessis’s withdrawal: “ 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 5.”

Commenting on the captaincy appointment, National Selection Panel Convenor, Linda Zondi said: “ 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 de Villiers 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.”

(With inputs from Cricket South Africa)

First Published: Dec 26, 2017 13:13 IST