De Villiers and Morkel to miss New Zealand series


Faf du Plessis will captain South Africa against New Zealand in the absence of the injured AB de Villiers, with Morne Morkel also set to sit out the two-Test series.

According to Proteas team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee, regular skipper De Villiers will require between six and eight weeks to recover from an impingement of the joint capsule in his left elbow.

Fast bowler Morkel will be sidelined from four to six weeks due to a bulging disc in his back.

"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," CSA selection convener Linda Zondi said.

"However, we are fortunate to have a capable stand-in leader in Faf du Plessis and other exciting options to select from."

South Africa have called up fast bowler Wayne Parnell for the series against the Black Caps, with the first Test to start in Durban on August 19.

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

"Another very encouraging sign is the good pre-season form being shown by a number of Test squad members during the two South Africa A four-day series. These include Stephen Cook, Dean Elgar, Stiaan van Zyl, Vernon Philander and Dane Piedt."

De Villiers added: "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. 

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