South Africa will boast a full-strength squad for the first time in more than two years when they take on India in the first Test at Newlands after allrounder Chris Morris was reported fit on Friday (December 29).
Morris missed the one-off Test against Zimbabwe with a groin strain that he picked up in the Ram Slam final two weeks ago, but overcame the problem in time to join the Proteas squad in Port Elizabeth prior to the end of that match.
With the day-night Test against Zimbabwe lasting less than two days, South Africa held a training session on Thursday. After Morris came through that session, he was confirmed in a 15-man squad for the first Test against India, which starts on January 5, with Duanne Olivier dropping out.
Captain Faf du Plessis and fast bowler Dale Steyn are also expected to overcome the viral infection that prevented them from taking the field against Zimbabwe, meaning South Africa should start the three-match series with the rare luxury of a fully-fit squad.
What with Steyn, Morne Morkel and AB de Villiers suffering long-term injuries in 2016, and de Villiers taking a sabbatical from Test cricket earlier this year, the Proteas have not been at full strength since at least 2015.
The availability of the full squad will leave the selectors with a welcome headache, with seven batsmen likely to be competing for six spots, and five fast bowlers ready to fill four places at most.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock has also been named in the squad without a back-up, suggesting he should get over the hamstring strain that he suffered on the opening day of the Zimbabwe Test.
The Proteas will convene in Cape Town on January 2 to begin their preparations for the most exciting period of the summer – the three Tests are followed by a full run of limited overs games against India, after which South Africa host Australia for four Tests.
South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn.