Proteas captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to bat, introducing Duanne Olivier to Sri Lanka in the third Test, at the Wanderers.
As expected for what is likely to be a lively Wanderers wicket, the Proteas elected to go with a four-prong pace attack, bringing in Wayne Parnell for Kyle Abbott and the Knights’ Duanne Olivier for his first Test cap in place of spinner Keshav Maharaj.
Du Plessis admits that the wicket may show some movement early on, especially under a generous cloud cover, but he feels his batting lineup can handle that, even though he is still waiting for a complete performance from his top six. On each of the two wins previously, individuals have stood up to carry the team through.
‘There are a few cracks there too, so perhaps it will deteriorate as the game goes on. We must just what we need to do and we will get a result,’ he said.
Olivier sits comfortably on the top of the standings for most wickets taken in this year’s Sunfoil Series but captain Du Plessis admits he knows little about. ‘I faced him for he first time in the nets. There’s definitely something there,’ he said.
Proteas coach Russell Domingo said: ‘Duanne has got some good numbers and some really good performances for the SA ‘A’ side. I’m excited to see what he offers.
‘We’ve got to look at the future and move on with young guys who we feel can do the business. We’re very confident with what we’ve seen from a young guy like Duanne.’
The day also marks Hashim Amla’s 100th Test and Du Plessis is hoping for a glittering present.
‘Hashim being Hashim, he doesn’t want anything special, it’s just another Test match for him,’ said Du Plessis. ‘It will be nice to see him have a great day and score big runs, we are 100 per cent behind him, he is a great player for us.’
Sri Lanka have retained the same team.
South Africa: 1 Dean Elgar, 2 Stephen Cook, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 JP Duminy, 5 Faf du Plessis (capt.), 6 Temba Bavuma, 7 Quinton de Kock (wk), 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Wayne Parnell, 10 Duanne Olivier, 11 Kagiso Rabada
Sri Lanka: 1 Kaushal Silva, 2 Dimuth Karunaratne, 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Dhananjaya de Silva, 5 Angelo Mathews (capt.), 6 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 7 Upul Tharanga, 8 Rangana Herath, 9 Lahiru Kumara, 10 Suranga Lakmal, 11 Nuwan Pradeep