PORT ELIZABETH: South Africa captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to bat first in the second and final test against Sri Lanka at St George’s Park on Thursday.
The home side have handed a debut to all-rounder Wiaan Mulder, 21, who comes in for the injured Vernon Philander in the only change from the hosts’ one-wicket loss in the first test in Durban.
“It looks a traditional Port Elizabeth wicket, soft and slow on day one,” Du Plessis said at the toss.
“Wiaan Mulder comes in, it’s exciting for him, he offers a really good balance with our test team moving forward. Hopefully this will be the start of a great test career for him.
“He is a batting all-rounder that comes in as that fourth seamer to bowl as many overs as you need him. He has all the attributes to be great for South Africa cricket.”
Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was also happy at the toss as he confirmed he would have bowled first in any event.
“There is some grass and some moisture on the wicket, so the new ball will be key. If we can get early wickets we can put them under pressure,” Karunaratne said.
The tourists have gone with an unchanged line-up as they seek to become the first Asian side to win a test series in South Africa.
South Africa: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (captain), Quinton de Kock, Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Oshada Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Suranga Lakmal, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lasith Ambuldeniya.