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'Difficult birth' of child puts du Plessis in doubt for Lord's

Faf du Plessis before the start of play Getty Images

South Africa's captain Faf du Plessis remains in doubt for the Lord's Test, which starts next Thursday, after he returned home for the birth of his first child. Though the baby was born a week before the start of the series, a CSA spokesperson said it was a "difficult birth" and du Plessis will only travel to the UK once the baby and his wife Imari are "settled."

Should du Plessis be unavailable for the Test, Dean Elgar will lead in his absence. Elgar is currently in charge of the South Africans in a tour match against England Lions in Worcester, where Theunis de Bruyn was preferred over Aiden Markram in the batting line-up. Markram was included in the squad as cover for du Plessis but de Bruyn, who debuted in Hamilton in March, may play ahead of him if du Plessis can't take the field.

South Africa's other concern is the fitness of Vernon Philander. He had to sit out the tour match as he recovers from an ankle injury but the team management is hopeful that he will be available for Lord's. Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo are in the squad as cover.

In better news for South Africa, coach Russell Domingo had returned to the camp after leaving on a family emergency. His mother was involved in a serious accident and has been discharged from the hospital though she remains fragile.