AB de Villiers has been ruled out of South Africa's two-test home series against New Zealand this month with an injured elbow and Faf du Plessis will take over the captaincy.
Fast bowler Morne Morkel has also been sidelined, with a bulging disc in his back, Cricket South Africa said in a statement on Tuesday. De Villiers will be out for six to eight weeks, it said.
"I'm naturally disappointed to miss the Test series against New Zealand, particularly because I have not missed a Test match through injury since my debut in 2004," De Villiers was quoted as saying.
"However, with an exciting summer of cricket ahead, it is obviously sensible to give my elbow time to heal properly."
Seamer Vernon Philander makes a return to the Test squad for the first time in 10 months, while Dale Steyn has also been included after recovering from the shoulder and groin problems that plagued him in the Proteas' last two Test series against India and England.
All-rounder Wayne Parnell is the only member of the 15-man squad who did not play in the most recent Test series against the English at the start of the year.
The first Test will be played in Durban from Aug. 19-23 and the second in Pretoria, starting just four days later.
Squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Stephen Cook, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Dean Elgar, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Stiaan van Zyl.