CENTURION, South Africa (AP) — Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and chose to bat in the first test in South Africa on Wednesday.
Sarfraz backed his batsmen against South Africa's pace attack on a pitch at SuperSport Park that traditionally favors fast bowlers.
Pakistan had one late injury problem to deal with for the series-opener as batsman Haris Sohail was ruled out on the morning of the match with a knee problem. He was replaced by Shan Masood.
South Africa was without injured quicks Vernon Philander and Lungi Ngidi but top-ranked test bowler Kagiso Rabada plays as does veteran Dale Steyn, who needs one more wicket to overtake Shaun Pollock as his country's leading wicket-taker in test cricket.
South Africa: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (captain), Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Keshav Maharaj, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier.
Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Mohammad Amir, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi.