It will be an all-new captaincy line-up at the coin toss at Lord's this week, with South Africa's Faf du Plessis formally ruled out of the opening Test against England. Du Plessis flew home from England after the Champions Trophy campaign to be with his wife for the birth of their first child, which arrived on June 29.
South Africa team management said the "difficult" delivery had delayed the regular skipper's return to England, and opening batsman Dean Elgar will take over the Proteas captaincy for the opening Test.
"Faf's wife gave birth to their first child last week but the difficult nature of the delivery has delayed his return to the UK," Proteas team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee said.
"The mother and baby have settled at home, but he will be unable to make it back in time to take part in the first Test match. "He will link up with the squad in the UK later this week."
England skipper Joe Root will also be appearing in his first Test as captain having taken over the reins from Alastair Cook. Elgar becomes the 12th player to captain South Africa since their readmission to international cricket. The 30-year-old Elgar made his debut for South Africa against Australia on the Proteas' 2012 tour Down Under. He's played 35 Tests and scored more than 2,000 runs at 39.25 with seven centuries, and warmed up for this tour with county side Somerset, scoring 158 against Middlesex at Lord's last month.
Elgar could expect to play his first innings as captain alongside another player marking a first with 33-year-old Heino Kuhn tipped to make his debut. Kuhn scored a double century and a century for South Africa A against Hampshire and the England Lions respectively on their recent tour of England.
The Proteas have struggled to find an opening partner for Dean Elgar since Graeme Smith's retirement but hopes are high that Kuhn could help fill the void left by the former captain. -cricket.com.au