Quinton de Kock has passed a late fitness Test and will be available to play in the third Test at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
Scans revealed that De Kock had injured a tendon in his right index finger in the second Test victory in Wellington, with a possible time on the sidelines needed for his full recovery.
Mohammed Moosajee confirmed that the 24-year-old would undergo a late fitness test to confirm his availability for the final Test against New Zealand.
According to a tweet from CSA, De Kock has been cleared for the third Test, but Cricket South Africa have ruled him out of playing the 2017 IPL season for Delhi Daredevils in order to be available for the Champions Trophy and the England Tests that follow.
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) March 24, 2017
Faf du Plessis explained that their desire for a win is too great to leave their young star out.
‘It’s a big game. Quinton is someone who you don’t just replace. From my side, I am trying to have Quinton in my team all the time,’ Du Plessis said.
‘He has had problems with his fingers for quite a while. It’s part of being a keeper. It’s never nice to catch balls on the fingertips all the time and it’s been painful for him for a while. Maybe the cold New Zealand conditions make it worse. It’s hurting for him a bit more now but because it’s a big game, resting him for someone else is not an option.’
This means that Heinrich Klaasen fans will have to wait a little longer to see the Titans wicket-keeper batsman in action. The 25-year-old was poised to replace De Kock as the only viable replacement in his absence.
The turning pitch at Hamilton is said to be conducive for spin, which could mean that both sides will opt for an extra spinner, with Dane Piedt earning a possible call-up to the starting lineup.
The third Test will start on Saturday at 00:00 SAST.
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/Backpagepix