Proteas team manager, Mohammed Moosajee, explains: “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.
“The mother and baby have settled at home, but he will be unable to make it back in time to take part in the first Test match.
“He will link up with the squad in the UK later this week.”
Opening batsman Elgar has represented SA in a total of 35 Tests and averages 39.25.
And while it will be his first outing as leader of the national team, he has some players in the squad that have led the team before.
Hashim Amla is the most senior player in the camp, while JP Duminy has also led the Proteas in three T20Is.
The only other player who has captained the Proteas in only one Test was Gary Kirsten.
Meanwhile, coach Russell Domingo confirmed yesterday that he reapplied for his job.