South Africa will once again miss the services of fast bowler Vernon Philander in the first Test against Bangladesh as he continues to recover from a lower back niggle sustained during the England series. The injury list also includes all-rounder Chris Morris and pacer Lungi Ngidi, both set to miss the Test series and are likely to return for the T20s late October. However, there is no set timeline for pace spearhead Dale Steyn's comeback, who is out of action since last November after fracturing a bone in his shoulder.
In Philander and Morris' absence, South Africa will likely field a Test attack comprising Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada and Duanne Olivier with Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo and Beuran Hendricks all awaiting their chance.
"We've had a number of challenges on the fast bowling front," said South Africa's team manager Mohammed Moosajee as media reports suggest.
"The first to chat about is Vernon Philander. During the Test series in England, he dived for a ball and injured his lower back. His progress has been coming along well but he is only bowling at 80 percent capacity currently.
"The plan for him is to prepare for the four-day match against the Cobras beginning on September 28. Should he come through that, he should be available for the second Test against Bangladesh. At the moment, he is only building up to full intensity so we are not going to risk him to play during the first Test," he added.
South Africa and Bangladesh are set to play two Tests, three One-day Internationals and two T20 Internationals during the series.
The first Test starts September 28 at the Senwes Park in Potchefstroom.
(With IANS Inputs).