Proteas strong despite Morkel retirement - Du Plessis

Morne Morkel earned praise from South Africa captain Faf du Plessis, who says the team can cope with his retirement.

South Africa paceman Morne Morkel   -  Getty Images

Faf du Plessis is confident South Africa have the talent to replace Morne Morkel after paying tribute to the retiring paceman.

Proteas legend Morkel confirmed that the upcoming Test series against Australia will be his last outings in international cricket, following a career that has thus far yielded 294 wickets in five-day cricket at an average of 28.08.

Morkel has been part of a fearsome opening partnership with Dale Steyn, but Du Plessis – while acknowledging the 33-year-old's contribution to South African cricket – says the emergence of the likes of Lungi Ngidi, who has nine wickets in two Test matches, means the team are in a strong place.

"Morne has been an absolute legend of South African cricket, he has been a great team man for the last 10 to 12 years," the South Africa captain told a news conference.

"He has really served the team well and he will be missed. We understand his reasons for going, he's got his family to support and look after.

"He's a difficult guy to replace, as I've mentioned before the experienced seamers are very important.

"The good thing, though, is that we've got Lungi Ngidi coming through to take his place when the time is there and obviously we've got Dale Steyn hopefully come back as well."

The first Test begins on Thursday in Durban.