South Africa have included Quinton de Kock and Chris Morris for the first Test of the series against India. Morris was not named in the one-off pink ball Test against Zimbabwe due to the groin strain. He has made a comeback to the side now replacing Duanne Olivier.
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De Kock, on the other hand, was ruled out of the pink ball Test after he suffered a hamstring strain on day 1. Stand-in skipper AB de Villiers kept wickets for De Kock. Though the team management is still keeping fingers crossed on de Kock’s availability, and he might be ruled out as well if deemed unfit.
Faf du Plessis, who missed the pink ball Test, will walk into the playing XI after recovering from the viral infection. Dale Steyn might have to warm the bench for the first Test, keeping in mind the form of the pacers in the Test against Zimbabwe.
Both Plessis and Steyn did not participate in the game after both of them were down with viral fever. It could have a been dress rehearsal for Steyn before playing against a strong Indian team but now, there are bleak chances of him making it to the playing XI as skipper, Plessis, is highly unlikely to tinker with the pace attack.
There will be one obvious change in the team as Plessis will go onto replace Temba Bavuma. The right-handed batsman escaped from being dropped out from the last Test after Plessis was ruled out. Though he played good innings of 44 but will have to make a way for the captain.
Plessis in place of Bavuma seems to be the only change going into the first Test, which starts on January 5. The next two Test matches will start on 13 January and 24.
Indian team has reached South Africa and will start practising for the tour soon. The players will practice on hired grounds where fast pitches will be laid down so as to facilitate the batsmen with conditions similar to what they will face during the international fixtures.
South Africa squad for the first Test: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn
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