Faf du Plessis

South Africa captain du Plessis out of India series with fractured finger

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South Africa will be forced to play the remaining five ODIs and three T20Is against India without captain Faf du Plessis after he is ruled out for three to six weeks with a fractured finger.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has been ruled out of the remaining five ODIs and following three T20Is against India after fracturing his finger in the field in Durban. Du Plessis will need three to six weeks to recover, meaning he is also a doubt for South Africa's four-match Test series against Australia, which starts on 1 March.

Du Plessis damaged his right index finger while diving for a catch in the first ODI against India at Kingsmead in Durban on 1 February. The 33-year-old only got a fingertip to the chance at first slip off Indian captain Virat Kohli, who went on to make 112 in India's six-wicket win.

With AB de Villiers also currently out with a finger injury, South Africa have called up batsman Farhaan Behardien and wicket-keeper Heinrich Klaasen as immediate cover ahead of the second ODI against India at SuperSport Park, Centurion on Sunday 4 February. 

Faf du Plessis scored 120 from 112 balls against India in Durban before fracturing his finger
Faf du Plessis scored 120 from 112 balls against India in Durban before fracturing his finger

Behardien averages 31.55 with the bat in 58 ODIs for South Africa, having scored six fifties, while he has also taken 14 wickets with his medium pace. Klaasen, meanwhile, is uncapped at international level, but has been in form in South Africa's domestic one-day competition recently, scoring 522 runs at an average of 52.20 this season. 

De Villiers has set a goal to return for the fourth ODI at the Wanderers on 10 February, but in the meantime South Africa will need to pick a stand-in captain.

Hashim Amla has previously captained the Proteas, but stepped down as Test skipper in January 2016, while other senior players may also be considered for the role. A decision will be announced before the second ODI at Centurion.   

Farhaan Behardien last played an ODI for South Africa against Bangladesh in October 2017
Farhaan Behardien last played an ODI for South Africa against Bangladesh in October 2017

Du Plessis' absence comes as a significant blow to South Africa. He scored a magnificent battling 120 in the first ODI to drag his side to 269/8 in the first innings against India. Although his ninth ODI century proved not to be enough, with Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane (79) putting on a 189-run partnership to see India home, it highlighted du Plessis' importance with the bat.

South Africa, although depleted, head to Centurion with confidence from their record at the ground. The Proteas have won 24 of their 36 ODIs at SuperSport Park and their last outing in February 2017 saw Quinton de Kock and Amla rack up centuries against Sri Lanka. The duo average 90.33 and 76.90 respectively at the ground. With key players du Plessis and de Villiers unavailable, the hosts will be hoping they can fire once more at Centurion.

South Africa squad: Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Khaya Zondo.  

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Group A

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 England 3 +1.045 6
2 Bangladesh 3 +0.000 3
3 Australia 3 -0.992 2
4 New Zealand 3 -1.058 1

Group B

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 India 3 +1.370 4
2 Pakistan 3 -0.680 4
3 South Africa 3 +0.167 2
4 Sri Lanka 3 -0.798 2

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