South Africa win toss and elect to bat first
South Africa won the toss and opted to bat first against England in the decisive third and final test at Lord’s on Thursday.
England must win the match to not only draw the series but also to remain as the world’s number one ranked team and captain Andrew Strauss was upbeat despite losing the toss.
“It’s not a bad toss to lose actually as there’s a tinge of green and there should be something in it for our seamers,” Strauss said at the toss.
“It’s a massive game for us and one we desperately want to win. It’s time for everyone to show what they are capable of,” added the captain, who is making his 100th test appearance and his 50th in charge of England.
England made two changes from the drawn second test at Headingley, omitting the explosive batsman Kevin Pietersen because of a fall-out with the team and management.
He was replaced by Jonny Bairstow, while off-spinner Graeme Swann was recalled at the expense of Tim Bresnan having been dropped for the second test.
South Africa named an unchanged team for the third consecutive match following their win in the first test at The Oval by an innings and 12 runs and the Leeds draw.
Opener Alviro Petersen, who made 182 in the last match before sustaining a hamstring injury, has fully recovered.
Strauss joins Michael Atherton, Ian Botham, Geoffrey Boycott, Colin Cowdrey, Graham Gooch, David Gower, Alec Stewart and Graham Thorpe as the ninth Englishman to play 100 tests.
Counterpart Graeme Smith, playing his 94th test as skipper, becomes the most-capped test captain, surpassing Australian Allan Border.
England: Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, James Taylor, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steven Finn.
South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Jacques Rudolph, JP Duminy, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir.