New Delhi: In what could be termed as a major blow for South Africa ahead of their home series against India, wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock suffered a right hamstring, thus pulling out of the one-off four-day Test against Zimbabwe on day two and joining regular skipper Faf du Plessis on the list of injured players.
de Kock pulled the muscle while batting on the opening day of the day-night test at St George’s Park and after being assessed was told to rest in a bid to be ready for the three-test series against India, that starts on Jan. 5, officials said.
De Kock suffered the injury running between the crease in his brief innings and did not come out to take his place behind the stumps later on Tuesday when Zimbabwe were put into bat after South Africa declared their first innings on 309-9.
AB de Villiers, who was named the captain of SA before the inaugural four-day Test after du Plessis withdrew his name, did wicketkeeping duty as South Africa beat Zimbabwe by an innings and 120 runs on the second day.
Fast bowler Dale Steyn’s return after a year out with injury was also postponed because of a viral infection.
South Africa, seeking to topple India as the top-ranked test side, will be hoping De Kock, Du Plessis and Steyn will all be fit again next week ahead of the opening test at Newlands in Cape Town.
Meanwhile, Indian opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan is also likely to miss the first Test with an injured ankle, giving the tourist a headache.
The left-handed batsman was spotted limping his way into the hotel, moments before team’s departure for the Proteas tour, and his left ankle was heavily strapped. He was accompanied by physio Patrick Farhat and was taken to undergo MRI scan.