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Faf du Plessis in doubt for first Test against Australia

21 February 2018

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis will begin training on Wednesday as he is in a race against time to regain full fitness after suffering a fracture earlier this month, Reuters News Agency reported.

To be fit in time for the all-important series du Plessis will resume training on February 20.

Quinton de Kock could return from a wrist injury to play a part in South Africa's Twenty20 series against India, with the wicket-keeper, captain Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers all pushing to be fit to face Australia in the upcoming Test series. The first Test will commence March 1 at Kingsmead in Durban. As a precautionary move, he has been kept out of the ongoing T20I series against India.

De Kock was injured playing against India at Centurion, with Heinrich Klaasen coming in to play a match-winning knock in the fourth ODI, although the Proteas slumped to a 5-1 series defeat in the 50-over format.

"The plan for Temba (Bavuma) at the moment is to have him play a club game on Sunday which will probably be his fitness test".

Both de Villiers and de Kock have recovered and will be available for the Australian challenge.

However, their most experienced pacer and the man on the verge of history Dale Steyn's participation isn't certain yet.

Steyn made a mini comeback against India at Cape Town (2/51) but a ligament tear saw him limp out of the ground.

"He is doing running training and increasing his bowling intensity and in all likelihood he will feature against Australia at some stage".

Steyn, who is three wickets away from overtaking Shaun Pollock as the all-time leading wicket-taker for South Africa in Tests, will now have to wait longer for the opportunity.

South Africa team manager Mohammad Moosajee told ESPNCricinfo all players were hopeful to take on Australia, but their injuries - skipper du Plessis in particular - have affected the team's stability.

"But‚ the medical team will want him to play some form of cricket before a Test match and we are targeting one of the four day matches for the Titans".

Faf du Plessis in doubt for first Test against Australia