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South Africa vs England: Proteas put in to bat and name two debutants

England captain Joe Root won the toss ahead of the first Test against South Africa and opted to send the Proteas in to bat.

Caps for Rassie and Dwaine

With six uncapped players in the Proteas squad there were always likely to be debuts in this Test and South Africa have two players receiving their first caps.

Allrounder Dwaine Pretorius comes in for his first international in the game’s ultimate format while batsman Rassie van der Dussen also makes his bow.

England have named a familiar looking XI with both Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad fit to take their place in an all-pace bowling attack.

The Supersport Park deck has more than a hint of green with plenty of rain falling on the highveld in the last few weeks and Root looked eager to give his quicks a run on the track and test the Proteas batsmen.

Aiden Markram has recovered from the wrist injury he inflicted on himself in the changerooms in India and will partner Dean Elgar in facing up to the new ball.

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First Test South Africa vs England: England bowler James Anderson in action during day two of the 2 Day Practice match between England and South Africa Invitation XI at Willowmoore Park on December 18, 2019 in Benoni, South Africa. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

James Anderson will play his 150th Test for England something skipper Root described as: “An incredible achievement, a testament to fitness and hard work.”

Despite the grass on the deck the England decision to bowl first is an odd one with conventional wisdom suggesting the pitch will be at its best in the first two days. The Proteas questionable top-order form may have been the deciding factor that influenced Root’s choice.

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis said he would have batted first anyway. “Day one, the wicket is a bit slow, day two it’s decent, then the cracks open up.” 

South Africa vs England teams

South Africa: 1 Dean Elgar, 2 Aiden Markram, 3 Zubayr Hamza, 4 Faf du Plessis (capt), 5 Rassie van der Dussen, 6 Quinton de Kock (wk), 7 Dwaine Pretorius, 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Keshav Maharaj, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Anrich Nortje

England: 1 Rory Burns, 2 Dom Sibley, 3 Joe Denly, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Jonny Bairstow, 7 Jos Buttler (wk), 8 Sam Curran, 9 Jofra Archer, 10 James Anderson, 11 Stuart Broad

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