Centurion: South Africa captain Graeme Smith won the toss and put Australia in to bat at SuperSport Park in the first test on Wednesday.
Smith opted to use his fast bowlers first on a pitch that will likely offer pace and bounce in the early part of the series-opener at Centurion. Australia captain Michael Clarke said he would have batted first anyway.
South Africa picked Ryan McLaren to replace retired Jacques Kallis in the top-ranked Proteas' first match since the retirement of the allrounder.
Australia gave Alex Doolan his test debut at No. 3 and batsman Shaun Marsh also came into the side. They replaced George Bailey, who was dropped for the tour, and Shane Watson, who is out of the first test with a calf injury.