AB de Villiers chose to bowl after winning the toss ahead of the first ODI against England at Headingley, reckoning the pitch to be good value for a run chase under lights.
For South Africa, there was no room for Morne Morkel to resume his ODI career after almost a year out – Wayne Parnell was preferred, with Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj and Farhaan Behardien also missing out. De Villiers sat out the two warm-up matches, at Hove and Wantage Road, with a bout of flu but was fit to lead the side.
England welcomed back their three IPL wanderers, with Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes coming straight into the side after missing two ODIs against Ireland earlier this month. Jonny Bairstow, who struck 77 off 48 in the second match at Lord’s, Sam Billings, Jake Ball and David Willey had to be content with running drinks, with Moeen Ali also recalled to provide a second spin option.
England go into the match on a run of six consecutive ODI victories, while South Africa are the No. 1-ranked side in the format. Both will be looking to hone their plans for the Champions Trophy, which begins on Thursday week.
England: 1 Jason Roy, 2 Alex Hales, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Jos Buttler, 7 Moeen Ali 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Adil Rashid, 10 Liam Plunkett, 11 Mark Wood
South Africa: 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt), 5 JP Duminy, 6 David Miller, 7 Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Chris Morris, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Imran Tahir. Espncricinfo.