PRETORIA, Dec 17 (Reuters) - West Indies won the toss and elected to bowl in the first test against South Africa at an overcast Centurion in Pretoria on Wednesday as the hosts handed batsman Stiaan van Zyl his international debut.
Left-hander Van Zyl comes in for injured JP Duminy, while South Africa opted for a four-man pace attack with the inclusion of Kyle Abbott and will play without a recognised spin option other than the part-time turn of Dean Elgar.
West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin promised to take the game to South Africa in a country where the tourists have lost 10 of their 12 tests to date.
“We will continue to play an exciting brand of cricket and try to hit the right areas when we bowl,” Ramdin said at the toss, which was delayed by 30 minutes with play starting later than scheduled due to a wet outfield.
Home captain Hashim Amla admitted he also would have bowled in the overcast conditions and expected batting to be difficult throughout the day.
“It’s going to be a bit tough, it might move around a bit,” Amla said ahead of his first test on home soil as skipper.
The three-match series will move on to Port Elizabeth next before concluding in Cape Town.
South Africa: Alviro Petersen, Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla (captain), Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock, Stiaan van Zyl, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Kyle Abbott
West Indies: Devon Smith, Kraigg Brathwaite, Leon Johnson, Marlon Samuels, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jermaine Blackwood, Denesh Ramdin (captain), Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor, Sulieman Benn, Sheldon Cottrell (Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by John O‘Brien)