JOHANNESBURG: Paceman Mohammad Abbas gave Pakistan a breakthrough by removing South African stand-in captain Dean Elgar in the opening minutes, after the hosts won the toss and elected to bat in the third and final Test at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Friday.
South Africa, who have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series, lost Elgar caught behind for 5.
For Pakistan, the third Test offers one final shot at redeeming themselves and avoiding a clean sweep in the five-day game before the ODI series.
Pakistan left out Yasir Shah, Fakhar Zaman and Shaheen Shah Afridi, bringing in Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali after their four specialist bowlers were worn down during South Africa’s first innings of 431 at Newlands.
The only change for South Africa is skipper Faf du Plessis who was suspended for one Test because of his team’s slow over-rate in Cape Town. Du Plessis has been replaced by Zubayr Hamza who earns the 100th Test debut cap for the hosts. Dean Elgar is standing in for Du Plessis as captain.
A 3-0 result will push South Africa to the second position in the ICC Test rankings.
South Africa: Dean Elgar (captain), Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Zubayr Hamza, Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Duanne Olivier.
Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain/wicketkeeper), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali