The Proteas named three specialist spinners in their XI on day one of the first Test against India in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.
Off-spinner Dane Piedt welcomes a first Test cap since August 2016, while left-armer Senuran Muthusamy debuts. The experienced Keshav Maharaj is the third spinner.
The 25-year-old Muthusamy has earned international inclusion on the back of a solid record in first-class cricket and bolsters the batting resources. The Dolphins star has taken 129 wickets in 69 appearances, and collected an average of over 32 across 3,403 runs in 116 innings. The talented left-hander has struck seven centuries, too.
The four squad members left out of the XI are batsman Zubayr Hamza and Heinrich Klaasen and fast bowlers Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje.
India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat first. The hosts moved to 37 without loss inside 15 overs at the first drinks break.
India: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami.
South Africa: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Senuran Muthusamy, Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada.
Photo: Gallo Images