South Africa bats 1st, rings changes in 2nd test
PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (AP) — South Africa won the toss and opted to bat in the second test against Australia on Thursday and made three changes after a heavy defeat in the series opener, with batsman Alviro Petersen ruled out overnight with illness.
South Africa has gone with seven batsmen at St. George’s Park, with Dean Elgar opening the batting in place of Petersen, who has a virus. Quinton de Kock makes his debut in place of allrounder Ryan McLaren, who has concussion, and allrounder Wayne Parnell is in for spinner Robin Peterson, who was dropped.
Australia has kept the same team that won the first test at Centurion by 281 runs off the back of left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson’s career-best 12 wickets in the match for a 1-0 lead in the three-game series.
South Africa’s team was reshuffled late when opening batsman Petersen went down with a viral infection on Wednesday and De Kock was hastily called into the squad as cover. Elgar was initially expected to replace McLaren at No. 7, but was moved up to open the batting for Petersen and De Kock slotted in down the order. Left-arm seamer Parnell plays his fourth test after replacing slow left-armer Peterson.
Australia kept off-spinner Nathan Lyon in its lineup after electing not to play four seam bowlers. The Aussies have won their past six tests and are in contention to be the first team to beat top-ranked South Africa in a test series in five years.
South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel.
Australia: Michael Clarke (captain), Chris Rogers, David Warner, Alex Doolan, Shaun Marsh, Steve Smith, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon.