Three challenges for Ottis Gibson

England bowling coach Ottis Gibson has been linked with taking charge of South Africa Getty Images

Ottis Gibson was confirmed as South Africa's new head coach on Wednesday, leaving his role as England's bowling coach to take over from Russell Domingo ahead of a packed home season with visits by Bangladesh, India and Australia. After a poor tour of England, there are a number of issues to confront. Here are three of them.

Find a Test opener

Not unlike the team he is leaving, Ottis Gibson will join South Africa with them scratching their heads a little over whom their second opener should be - in South Africa's case, the question is who will walk out with Dean Elgar at the top of the order in Test cricket. Other than a battling innings on the opening day at Trent Bridge, Heino Kuhn - handed a debut at the age of 33 - looked out of his depth against England, making 113 in four Tests. Stephen Cook had been tried before him (with Theunis de Bruyn used for one match in between) but after three centuries in his first seven Tests, he didn't pass 30 in the next seven innings. However, he recently churned out the runs for South Africa A against India - scores of 120, 32, 98 and 70 not out - so he might return. The mood, though, appears to favour 22-year Aiden Markram who was originally included in the squad for the England tour as cover before being retained for the duration. His returns in the A series against India were less standout (22, 79, 74 and 19) but the selectors may consider it time to back youth. Whoever gets the gig, they'll begin with two Tests against Bangladesh - a somewhat less daunting prospect on home soil than in Dhaka or Chittagong - before having to front up against India and then Australia's battery of pace bowlers.

Reintegrate AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers has committed himself to all three formats from mid-October onwards. It means he won't be an option for the two Tests against Bangladesh, but will be available for the Boxing Day Test should CSA be able to find an opponent, and then the marquee series against India and Australia. Does he come straight back into the Test team? That may seem an odd question for a player who averages 50.46, but there are other factors to consider. He hasn't played a first-class game since January 2016 - his last Test was against England, in which he bagged a pair - and it remains to be seen how much red-ball cricket he will have before the T20 Global League starts in November, which is immediately followed by the bulk of the Test season. Away from Test cricket, South Africa also need a firing de Villiers as part of their one-day squad into the 2019 World Cup. He had a poor Champions Trophy, as South Africa crashed out in the group stage. Unshackled from captaincy, there will be hope that he has a final flourish in him.

Succession planning for the quicks

This should be well within Gibson's wheelhouse. On paper, South Africa retain a strong hand of pace bowlers but, below the surface, things may not be quite so rosy. Morne Morkel's future appears uncertain amid talk of a Kolpak deal while, at the end of the series against England, Faf du Plessis bemoaned the fitness problems of Vernon Philander after he sat out in the final Test. South Africa face at least 10 Tests between October and early April which will challenge the depth of their resources, which no longer includes the likes of Kyle Abbott and Marchant de Lange. One bit of hopeful news is that Dale Steyn is slowly moving closer to a comeback, but even that has to come with caution. He is returning from a nasty injury and regardless of the positivity of the man himself, hitting previous heights at the age of 34 will be a tough ask. Gibson will need to have an eye on what is coming through. Duanne Olivier played two Tests against England, showing promising at Old Trafford, but a lot could rest on the shoulders of Kagiso Rabada.