PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa- South Africa won the toss and decided to bat on the first day of the second Test against Australia at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.
South Africa made three changes to the team which was beaten by 281 runs in the first Test at Centurion.
In a surprise move, left-handed batsman Quinton de Kock, who was not part of the original squad, was flown in and will bat at number seven to fill the place vacated by injured all-rounder Ryan McLaren.
Dean Elgar will open the batting in place of Alviro Petersen, who according to captain Graeme Smith, was suffering from a stomach illness. In a third change, left-arm fast-medium bowler Wayne Parnell replaced left-arm spinner Robin Peterson.
There was almost a fourth change. The toss was slightly delayed while South Africa assessed the fitness of opening bowler Vernon Philander, who Smith said felt a twinge when he was warming up.
Australia were unchanged.
It was a cool, overcast morning and there was a good covering of grass on a pitch which traditionally becomes good for batting after offering early assistance to the bowlers.