South Africa wins toss, bats 1st against Pakistan
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — South Africa captain Graeme Smith won the toss and elected to bat against Pakistan in the series-opening test at Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Monday.
Top-ranked South Africa has six bowling options in its starting XI, with Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis comprising the seam attack and Robin Petersen and JP Duminy selected as spinners.
Pakistan handed debuts to opening batsman Shaan Masood, who is celebrating his 24th birthday, and left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar.
Masood scored a half century in a warmup match against South Africa last week while Babar was drafted in when Abdul Rehman was sidelined with a sore back.
South Africa swept Pakistan 3-0 in February at home and has not lost an away test series since its 2006 defeat in Sri Lanka.
Pakistan is the host team, but is playing the series in the United Arab Emirates. No full international team has toured Pakistan since gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team bus at Lahore in 2009.
South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, A.B. de Villiers, J.P. Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Robin Petersen, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Shan Masood, Khurram Manzoor, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Zulfiqar Babar, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan.
Umpires: Paul Reiffel, Australia, and Rod Tucker, Australia.
TV Umpire: Ian Gould, England. Match Referee: David Boon, Australia.