Ab de Villiers has been ruled out of the first three ODIs against India with a finger injury. The selectors will not name a replacement, so the squad has been trimmed to 14 players, with the likelihood of Khaya Zondo being handed a debut now higher.
De Villiers sustained the injury to his right index finger during the third Test against India and will need two weeks to make a complete recovery. He is expected to be fit for the fourth match, the pink ODI at the Wanderers, for which he is one of the ambassadors.
South Africa had named a squad for the first three matches only as they look to launch vision 2019, their pathway to the World Cup. It was without Farhaan Behardien, a possible replacement for de Villiers in the middle order but included Zondo, who was part of the South African squad that toured India in late 2015 although he did not play a game. Zondo's List A numbers do not put him among the top-performing domestic players but his performances for South Africa A and his "potential", according to convener of selectors Linda Zondi, is what the selectors are interested in. Opener Aiden Markram, who could slot in further down the order, is also in the squad.
The ODI series starts on Thursday in Durban and de Villiers will miss matches at Kingsmead, SuperSport Park and Newlands.