Temba Bavuma won the toss in his first assignment as full-time Test captain and elected to bat first in the first Test against West Indies in Centurion.
South Africa opted for a four-pronged pace attack which includes debutant Gerald Coetzee alongside Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje. Also making his debut was top-order batter Tony de Zorzi. Aiden Markram, fresh from leading Sunrisers Eastern Cape to the title in the inaugural SA20, made his way back into the Test team for the first time since August last year.
On the bowling front, South Africa left out Keshav Maharaj, going with a lone spinner in Senuran Muthusamy. Bavuma admitted being nervous in his first outing as captain but expected conditions to be good for batting, and with the sun beating down, he hoped for the surface to get better.
West Indies made just one change from their last Test outing against Zimbabwe earlier this month. Kemar Roach makes his way back into the side in place of Gudakesh Motie who is out injured.
Kraigg Brathwaite, West Indies captain, was also looking to bat first but insisted bowling first presents a good opportunity for the seamers on a fresh surface.
South Africa were outplayed in the most recent Test series against Australia going down 2-0 in the three-match series. West Indies, on the other hand, enter the contest on the back of a 1-0 series win over Zimbabwe.
South Africa XI: 1 Dean Elgar, 2 Aiden Markram, 3 Tony de Zorzi, 4 Temba Bavuma (capt), 5 Keegan Petersen, 6 Heinrich Klaasen (wk), 7 Senuran Muthusamy, 8 Marco Jansen, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Gerald Coetzee.