LONDON- England captain Andrew Strauss won the toss and decided to bat after rain delayed the start of play by 15 minutes on the opening day of the first Test between England and South Africa at the Oval on Thursday.
As expected, England opted for a three-man pace attack of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan, backed by off-spinner Graham Swann, with Steven Finn and Graham Onions missing out from a 13-man squad.
South Africa selected vice-captain AB de Villiers as wicketkeeper following the injury-enforced retirement of Mark Boucher. The tourists picked an extra batsman in JP Duminy.
Rain started to fall shortly before the toss was due but the sun came out again just before the scheduled start at 11am. It was announced that play would start at 11.15 am (0915 GMT).
Although there were patches of blue sky there were heavy clouds in the vicinity of the Oval and more rain was predicted.
Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Matt Prior (wkt), Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson.
Graeme Smith (capt), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers (wkt), Jacques Rudolph, JP Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.
Umpires: Steve Davis (AUS), Asad Rauf (PAK)
TV umpire: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI)
Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL). (AFP)