South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has said that selecting the playing XI for the opening Test against India, which begins on Friday in Cape Town, is the hardest selection decision yet for him as captain. Du Plessis, who has captained South Africa in 16 Tests, said he has never faced such a dilemma as captain. However, he termed it as a "nice headache to have".
"As a captain, it's probably the hardest team selection that I've been involved in," he was quoted as saying by Sport24.
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The biggest selection dilemma for South Africa and Du Plessis is their pace spearhead Dale Steyn, who is fit and available for selection in the first Test at Newlands after spending a year on the sidelines due to injury.
The other fast bowlers - Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander - are in great form as well, making the decision to include Steyn a bit tougher.
"It's really tough. There are just so many combinations that you can look at. I suppose it is a nice headache to have.
"We're still talking about what is going to be our strongest XI."
There has also been a lot of talk around the pitch at Newlands. It is expected to be a green top but with Cape Town being affected by one of the worst droughts in history, the atmosphere is expected to remain dry which could result in the pitch losing its moisture as the game progresses.
This could very well mean that South Africa will be tempted to play spinner Keshav Maharaj.
Du Plessis assured that the selection will be made only by keeping in mind the nature of the pitch.
"All angles that you look at picking provide very hard decisions. We will make the decision that we think is the best for Newlands," he said.
"I think with the makeup of our squad now, where we have so many different options, you could almost look at picking a different team for different venues.
"That's our thinking. We've got an idea of what we think will be the best for these conditions and we’ll probably change it up when we go up north," he said.