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Du Plessis took to Twitter to post how sad he is for not being able to front up to the challenge with the team © Getty Images

South African team received a major blow ahead of the first Test against England, when skipper Faf du Plessis was ruled out of the match as he will be back home in South Africa after the “difficult birth” of his first child. The team will be without the services of its regular skipper in the Test which starts at Lord’s on Thursday, July 6. The mother and baby have settled at home but du Plessis will be unable to make it back in time to take part in the first Test. Opening batsman Dean Elgar — who has seven Test centuries to his credit — will captain the side in du Plessis’ absence.

However, the Proteas’ skipper is expected to join the squad in England later and will be cheering for the team from his home. He recently took to Twitter to post how sad he was for not being able to front up to the challenge with the team. Du Plessis’ tweet from his official Twitter handle read: “Extremely sad that I won’t be able 2 front up 2 the challenge with the team.Be there soon.In the meantime, I will be their nr1 couch fan (sic).”

“Faf’s wife gave birth to their first child last week but the difficult nature of the delivery has delayed his return to the UK,” South Africa team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee had earlier said. South Africa’s long tour to England will conclude with the four-Test series. The tourists had earlier lost the ODIs and T20Is by a similar 1-2 margin, apart from crashing out of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in the group stage.