The Proteas have won the toss and decided to bat first in the inaugural four-day Test against Zimbabwe in Port Elizabeth.
St George’s Park will witness a historic first. The Proteas will compete in the inaugural day-night Test – a four-day Test– on South African soil.
AB de Villiers will lead the Proteas in the absence of regular skipper Faf du Plessis. The latter is still struggling with a viral infection.
De Villiers and Vernon Philander will make their long-awaited returns to the national team. Philander missed the series against Bangladesh in October due to injury, while De Villiers has been absent from the Test side since January 2016.
Dale Steyn has also been ruled out with a viral infection. The fast bowler will have to wait until the series against India in the new year to make his return to Test cricket.
The weather is unlikely to affect the outcome of this game. No rain is forecast.
‘I’m sure our bowlers are raring go, but it will be a bit slow on the first day. Hopefully it’s a good batting day for us,’ said De Villiers at the toss. ‘We will have to adapt, though, in this exciting new format.’
A minimum of 98 overs will be bowled per day in this the newest format of the game.
South Africa: 1 Dean Elgar, 2 Aiden Markram, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 AB de Villiers (c), 5 Temba Bavuma, 6 Quinton de Kock (wk), 7 Vernon Philander, 8 Andile Phehlukwayo, 9 Keshav Maharaj, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Morné Morkel
Zimbabwe: 1 Hamilton Masakadza, 2 Justice Chibhabha, 3 Craig Ervine, 4 Brendan Taylor, 5 Peter Moor (wk), 6 Sikandar Raza, 7 Ryan Burl, 8 Graeme Cremer (c), 9 Kyle Jarvis, 10 Blessing Muzarabani, 11 Christopher Mpofu