Dale Steyn, who was sick during the Boxing Day Test against Zimbabwe, has recovered and has been named in the 15-man squad by Cricket South Afirca (CSA) for the first match against India that begins on January 5. Faf du Plessis, who had sat out, as he had failed to recover from a shoulder surgery is also back in the mix. He would once again take over the captaincy duties from AB de Villiers who had stepped in as captain for the Test against Zimbabwe.
Allrounder Chris Morris has recovered from a groin injury to make up a formidable pack of seam bowlers for South Africa which could prove to be a difficult task for India on bounce friendly surfaces. In other good news for South Africa, wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock has also recovered from a hamstring strain and is expected to play the first fixture of 2018.
Morris has not played international cricket since July, when he picked up a back injury during the tour of England. He came back to action in early December and was part of the setup against Zimbabwe in the maiden four-day pink ball Test Port Elizabeth when South Africa wrapped up the game inside two days.
With South Africa getting a rare opportunity of having a full strength squad, it puts a welcome headache for the selectors who would have to pick between seven batsmen for six spots. More importantly, five seamers are in the squad with four expected to be included.
South Africa players will reconvene in the New Year – on Tuesday – to begin preparations for the three match Test series which will be followed by six ODIs and three T20s. Thereafter, South Africa will host Australia for four Tests in what promises to be a thrilling summer of Test cricket.
South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), 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