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Australia win toss, elect to bat

Australia won the toss and decided to bat in the first Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

cricket Updated: Feb 26, 2009 14:57 IST

Australia won the toss and decided to bat in the first Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Australia named three new caps, opening batsman Phil Hughes, batsman Marcus North and fast bowler Ben Hilfenhaus.

On a pitch expected to offer some early life to fast bowlers after recent rain, Australia opted for an all-pace attack but dropped Doug Bollinger, who played in the third and final Test of a recent home series against South Africa.

With North picked to bat at number six and possibly bowl a few overs of off-spin, all-rounder Andrew McDonald was retained to provide depth to the Australian batting. He was expected to bat at number eight.

South Africa fielded the same team that played in all three Tests in Australia in a series which South Africa won 2-1.

Teams:

South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Neil McKenzie, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Mark Boucher, Morne Morkel, Paul Harris, Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini.

Australia: Ricky Ponting (captain), Simon Katich, Phil Hughes, Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Marcus North, Brad Haddin, Andrew McDonald, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus.

Umpires: Billy Bowden (NZL), Steve Bucknor (WIS).

TV umpire: Asad Rauf (PAK). Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL).