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AB de Villiers, Morne Morkel to miss New Zealand Test series

AB de Villiers, Morne Morkel to miss New Zealand Test series
Both AB de Villiers (left) and Morne Morkel (right) are expected to be fit for the ODI series.
©REUTERS / Action Images

South African skipper AB de Villiers and fast bowler Morne Morkel have been ruled out of the upcoming Test series against New Zealand due to injuries.

De Villiers suffered an elbow injury in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and is expected to be out of action for about six to eight weeks.

Meanwhile, Morkel has been diagnosed with a bulged disc in his back and will need about four to six weeks to recover from the injury.

However, both de Villiers and Morkel are expected to recover in time for the One-Day International series against Australia in October.

In the place of de Villiers, South African selectors have picked Faf du Plessis to lead the Test side while fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander are also fit to make a comeback.

Stating that he was disappointed to miss his first Test match due to injury since his debut, de Villiers said that the layoff will give him enough time to recover completely for a busy season.

“I’m naturally disappointed to miss the Test series against New Zealand, particularly because I have not missed a Test match through injury since my debut in 2004,” de Villiers said.

“However, with an exciting summer of cricket ahead, it is obviously sensible to allow my elbow time to heal properly.”

Convener of South African selectors Linda Zondi is confident that the squad has enough players to make up for the loss of de Villiers and Morkel.

“It is most unfortunate that we will not be able to call on two players of the quality and experience of de Villiers and Morkel.

“However, we are fortunate to have a capable stand-in captain.

“Injuries are a reality that we have to deal with and with both Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander fit and firing again after respective long-term injuries, I am confident we have the players to take on New Zealand.”

Wayne Parnell has been recalled to the Test squad while Dane Piedt has been picked as the lone front-line spinner in the side.

Stephen Cook is expected to retain his place at the top of the order while Stiaan van Zyl and JP Duminy will look to cement their spots in the middle order.

Apart from Parnell, Steyn and Philander, South Africa have Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris in their ranks as the pace bowlers in the 15-man squad.

The two-match Test series between South Africa and New Zealand will get underway with the first game on 19th August in Durban.

South Africa squad:

Faf du Plessis (capt), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Stephen Cook, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Dean Elgar, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Stiaan van Zyl

© Cricket World 2016