Toss South Africa chose to field v Australia
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‘Conditions are like an English seamer’
Faf du Plessis won the toss and chose to give his bowlers first use of the cloudy conditions and what he called a pitch with “quite a bit” of moisture at Bellerive Oval, by sending Australia in to bat. Australia’s captain Steven Smith conceded that he too would have bowled first had he been given the opportunity.
Australia axed allrounder Mitchell Marsh and included two debutants, the batsman Callum Ferguson and the fast bowler Joe Mennie, who came in for the injured Peter Siddle. It meant that Australia were playing six specialist batsmen and no allrounder for the first time since last year’s Ashes Test at Trent Bridge – where they were then bundled out for 60 in the first innings.
South Africa were forced to make one change due to Dale Steyn’s serious shoulder injury, and Kyle Abbott was given the nod ahead of Morne Morkel as Steyn’s replacement. The selectors gave serious thought to including both Morkel and Abbott in a four-man pace attack and leaving out the spinner Keshav Maharaj, but decided against it.
Australia 1 David Warner, 2 Joe Burns, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Adam Voges, 6 Callum Ferguson, 7 Peter Nevill (wk), 8 Mitchell Starc, 9 Joe Mennie, 10 Josh Hazlewood, 11 Nathan Lyon.
South Africa 1 Stephen Cook, 2 Dean Elgar, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Faf du Plessis (capt), 5 Temba Bavuma, 6 JP Duminy, 7 Quinton de Kock (wk), 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Keshav Maharaj, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Kyle Abbott.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo