JOHANNESBURG: Faf du Plessis will stand in as captain for an injured AB de Villiers in two Test matches against New Zealand later this month.
De Villiers suffered an elbow injury while playing in the Caribbean Premier League and will be out of action for about six weeks.
Fast bowler Morne Morkel was also ruled out, for between four and six weeks, because of a bulging disk in his back.
But fellow fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander were both included in a 15-man squad announced on Tuesday after missing most of the 2015/16 season because of injury.
The Tests against New Zealand start in Durban on August 19 and Centurion on August 27.
All-rounder Wayne Parnell, who has not played in a Test match since December 2013, is the only member of the squad who did not play in South Africa’s most recent series against England last season.
It will be the first time since his debut in 2004 that De Villiers has missed a Test match because of injury.
South Africa’s one-day captain, he was appointed as Test captain midway through the England series following the resignation of Hashim Amla, initially on an interim basis for the remaining two Tests. He was later confirmed as full-time Test captain.
Du Plessis is South Africa’s regular Twenty20 captain and has also led the side in three one-day internationals.
South Africa squad
Faf du Plessis (captain), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Stephen Cook, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Dean Elgar, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Stiaan van Zyl.