Stephen Cook will have to battle JP Duminy for a spot in the South African XI after Rilee Rossouw was released from the Test squad.
Rossouw will now have to wait at least until August, when South Africa play New Zealand at home, to make his Test debut.
The selectors seem keen to stick with the tried and tested players at their disposal despite criticism of Du Plessis’s slow batting rate in recent times.
Stephen Cook is still expected to make his debut at Centurion. SACricketmag.com columnist and former Proteas opener Alviro Petersen said Rossouw should feel hard done by should Cook be picked to play ahead of him, unless the selectors make two or three changes to the XI, which now seems unlikely.
Stiaan van Zyl was released for Sunfoil duty on Tuesday, which increased Cook’s chances to open the batting. However, the selectors can still spring a surprise and opt to let Quinton de Kock open with Dean Elgar in order to get JP Duminy back in the team.
Either way it seems desperate at a time when rumours of tension between senior players and the selectors are going around.