CAPE TOWN – South Africa captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and put Pakistan into bat on the opening day of the second test at Newlands on Thursday, looking to make an immediate impact after winning the first test by six wickets last week.
“We want to get stuck into their batting line-up with our seam attack,” du Plessi said. “We had a nice selection dilemma but we’ve left the spinner out.”
Vernon Philander returns from injury to replace Keshav Maharaj and give the home side a daunting four-man pace attack, led by record wicket taker Dale Steyn despite some doubt about his fitness.
Pakistan kept faith with their batsmen despite a disappointing first test in Pretoria where they were bowled out for 181 and 190 in their two innings.
Surprisingly, their captain Sarfraz Ahmed said he would have batted first had he won the toss, despite the green-looking wicket in sunny conditions.
Mohammad Abbas is back from injury and takes the place of Hasan Ali in Pakistan’s only change from the first test.
South Africa – Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (captain), Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier
Pakistan – Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Mohammad Amir, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Abbas.
(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)