Faf du Plessis will borrow the captain's hat from AB de Villiers for the two-match Test series against New Zealand, later this month, after the latter was sidelined for six to eight weeks by injury. Cricket South Africa announced the Test squad on Tuesday.
De Villiers picked up an elbow injury while playing in the ongoing CPL 2016 for the Barbados Tridents. Cricket's "Mr. 360" will miss his first Test series after he was appointed the skipper, post the England matches in January 2016.
De Villiers was having issues while managing his workload last year.
"I'm naturally disappointed to miss the Test series against New Zealand, particularly because I have not missed a Test match through injury since my debut in 2004. However, with an exciting summer of cricket ahead, it is obviously sensible to allow my elbow time to heal properly," De Villiers was quoted as saying by Cricinfo.
Apart from De Villiers, South Africa will also miss the presence of Morne Morkel in their bowling attack. Morkel is recovering from a back injury and as a result could not be included in the South Africa Test squad.
Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander have been selected for the two-match series against New Zealand. Both seamers missed out most of last season's action because of respective injuries.
Apart from Steyn and Philander, South Africa still have a lot of venom in their bowling attack. As these two will be assisted by Kyle Abbott, Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris and Wayne Parnell.
Parnell also marked his return into the Test squad after two years. The last time he played a Test series, was against Australia in 2014.
Dane Piedt will also add to the bowling ranks, with spin.
The two-match Test series against New Zealand is scheduled to start in Durban on August 19 and Centurion on August 27.
South Africa Test squad for New Zealand series: Faf du Plessis (C), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Stephen Cook, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Dean Elgar, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Stiaan van Zyl.