Du Plessis doubtful for inaugural four-day Test

Johannesburg: South Africa Test skipper Faf du Plessis, who is recovering from a back injury, is doubtful for the inaugural four-day Test against Zimbabwe, starting on Boxing Day.

The 33-year-old sustained an acute lumbar disc injury during the third ODI against Bangladesh late October and was subsequently sidelined for six weeks.

However, du Plessis underwent surgery on a problematic shoulder during that period and, therefore, was forced to miss the recently-concluded Ram Slam. He was also not named in the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Invitation XI for a warm-up match against Zimbabwe, which is to be held on Wednesday.

Last week, South Africa team manager, Dr Mohammed Moosajee, had said that though du Plessis is `on track` to full fitness, a late decision would be taken given the workload over the coming three months.

“If we reach next week and see that Faf would benefit from another week off, then we will give him that time.We are not going to be foolish with his return, because there is a lot of cricket over the next few months,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Moosajee, as saying.

In case du Plessis miss the inaugural four-day day-night Test, South Africa would have a ready-made replacement in AB de Villiers, who is eager to make a return in the longest format of the game.

South Africa can also rope in stand-in skipper Dean Elgar, who led the side at Lord’s when du Plessis was on paternity leave.

Following lone Test against Zimbabwe, South Africa are slated to host India for three-match Test series, six ODIs and threeT20Is, starting on January 5 in Cape Town.(ANI)