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Rediff News  All News  » Cricket » De Kock fit to play and other injury updates for 3rd Test between NZ and SA

De Kock fit to play and other injury updates for 3rd Test between NZ and SA

March 24, 2017 11:42 IST

South Africa keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock had injured his finger during the second Test

IMAGE: South Africa keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock had injured his finger during the second Test. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

South Africa's Quinton de Kock has been cleared to play the third Test against New Zealand in Hamilton after passing a late fitness Test on Friday.

The 24-year-old wicketkeeper injured the index finger on his right hand while fielding in South Africa's eight-wicket win in the second Test in Wellington and underwent scans earlier this week.

He missed training on Wednesday and Thursday and while scans determined the finger was not broken, he had damaged tendons.

De Kock trained on Friday with strapping and a protective splint and South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said as far as he was concerned the aggressive batsman was too important to leave out for the series-deciding match starting on Saturday.

"It's a big game. Quinton is someone who you don't just replace. From my side, I am trying to have Quinton in my team all the time," du Plessis told reporters in Hamilton.

"He has had problems with his fingers for quite a while. It's part of being a keeper. It's never nice to catch balls on the fingertips all the time and it's been painful for him for a while.

"Maybe the cold New Zealand conditions make it worse. It's hurting for him a bit more now but because it's a big game, resting him for someone else is not an option."

New Zealand need to win the SeddonPark match to level the three-match series at 1-1 but have been hampered by the loss of three pivotal players.

Batsman Ross Taylor, who missed the second Test with a torn calf, is again unavailable, while the pace-bowling duo of Tim Southee (hamstring) and Trent Boult (groin) were ruled out in the last 24 hours.

Du Plessis said the loss of all three would be tough to overcome for the hosts and his team would be doing their best to exploit their absence and put pressure on Kane Williamson's side.

"Trent did everything possible to get himself ready for this Test and is extremely disappointed to be missing out," New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said in a statement.

"While he has made good progress, after training yesterday we spoke with medical staff and it was agreed that Trent required a little further time to be ready for the demands of Test cricket.

"Scott will come in as cover having consistently finished as one of the top wicket-takers in the Plunket Shield in recent seasons."

Kuggeleijn had initially made himself unavailable for selection this season as he was embroiled in a court case over an alleged rape. He was found not guilty last month after a trial in Hamilton.

The third Test starts at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Saturday. The Proteas hold a 1-0 lead in the three-match series after an eight-wicket win in the second game in Wellington.

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