Faf du Plessis ruled out of ODI and T20I series; Markram named captain
South African captain Faf du Plessis has been ruled out of the remainder of the ODI and T20I series against India with a finger injury. Farhaan Behardien and Heinrich Klaasen have been added to the ODI squad as cover for the injured captain. Batsman Aiden Markram will lead the Proteas in the ODI series in the absence of du Plessis.
The 33-year-old sustained an injury in the first ODI and upon assessment, it was deemed to be a fracture. The injury is expected to take three to six weeks to heal and now faces a period of rest and rehabilitation as he battles against time to be first the first Test against Australia at Durban on March 1.
South Africa are already without AB de Villiers for the first three ODIs and now the injury to their captain, who will take no further part in the remainder of the limited-overs series against India is a huge blow for the Proteas, who are 0-1 down in the six-match ODI series. It is also unclear who will captain the hosts in the absence of both AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis.
At the post-match presentation after the first ODI, the 33-year-old was asked about his injury in the post-match presentation. He responded by dismissing it as "just a few battle scars".
Responding to Shaun Pollock, he said: "Just went upstairs to get the fingers checked."
After the hosts won the toss in the first ODI at Durban and elected to bat first, the captain stepped up as the top order crumbled around him. His 120 helped the Proteas post a total 269/8, which ultimately wasn't enough as another century in an ODI run chase by Virat Kohli meant that India cruised to victory with 27 balls to spare.
The 26-year-old Klaasen is yet to make his international debut but the wicketkeeper has been in sparkling form of late. The right-hander has played 42 List-A matches and averages over 35 and has a strike rate of over 90 with a century and nine fifties to his name.
All-rounder Behardien, who was part of the ODI and T20I squad is likely to take Faf du Plessis place in the side for the second ODI against India at Centurion on Sunday (February 4).