South Africa will be without Faf du Plessis for the opening Test against England at Lord’s which begins on July 6. The usual South Africa captain has stayed home to be with his wife, Imari, who gave birth to their first child. In his place, Dean Elgar will step in to lead the Proteas. In the process, Elgar becomes the 12th player to captain South Africa since their readmission to international cricket post-apartheid in 1992.
Due to the difficult birth of the child, Faf has delayed his return to the UK. “Faf’s wife gave birth to their first child last week but the difficult nature of the delivery has delayed his return to the UK,” said team manager Mohammed Moosajee in a statement.
“The mother and baby have settled at home, but he will be unable to make it back in time to take part in the first test. He will link up with the squad in the UK later this week,” the statement went on to add. The second Test will be played at Trent Bridge starting July 14.
As for the replacement in the team, Theunis de Bruyn or uncapped Aiden Markram will come in for du Plessis’ in the starting team.
De Bruyn had made his debut in March against New Zealand after Stephen Cook was dropped from the opening slot. He scored 12 runs in the match but his selection now is reportedly not for the opener position. That responsibility might be handed to Heino Kuhn who will partner Elgar at the top.
In positive news for the visitors, Vernon Philander has been cleared to play. He had sat out their warm-up game against England Lions prior to the opening Test.