Toss: South Africa chose to bat v Zimbabwe
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AB de Villiers, playing his first Test since January 2016 and standing in for Faf du Plessis, has chosen to bat first in the four-day, day-night Test match against Zimbabwe in Port Elizabeth. This will be the first four-day Test match since the Auckland Test between New Zealand and Pakistan in February 1973, and the first ever day-night Test in South Africa.
Zimbabwe named two debutants. As expected, Blessing Muzarabani came into the pace attack alongside Kyle Jarvis and Christopher Mpofu, while the inclusion of the allrounder Ryan Burl gave them two legspin options alongside captain Graeme Cremer. The inclusion of the extra bowler left no place for Regis Chakabva, whose unbeaten 71 helped Zimbabwe save their last Test match, against West Indies in Bulawayo. Brendan Taylor is expected to take the wicketkeeping gloves from Chakabva. Chamu Chibhabha, meanwhile, replaced Solomon Mire at the top of the order.
South Africa’s two main selection headaches were eased by cases of viral infection: de Villiers returned in place of du Plessis, allowing South Africa to play both Temba Bavuma and the allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo, while Morne Morkel kept his place with illness ruling out Dale Steyn, who has returned to South Africa’s squad after recovering from surgery to the right shoulder he fractured in Perth last year.
South Africa: 1 Aiden Markram, 2 Dean Elgar, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 AB de Villiers (capt), 5 Temba Bavuma, 6 Quinton de Kock (wk), 7 Vernon Philander, 8 Andile Phehlukwayo, 9 Keshav Maharaj, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Morne Morkel.
Zimbabwe: 1 Chamu Chibhabha, 2 Hamilton Masakadsa, 3 Craig Ervine, 4 Brendan Taylor (wk), 5 Peter Moor, 6 Sikandar Raza, 7 Ryan Burl, 8 Graeme Cremer, 9 Kyle Jarvis, 10 Christopher Mpofu, 11 Blessing Muzarabani.