Cape Town - Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim won the toss and elected to bowl in the first Test against South Africa in Potchefstroom on Thursday.
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"The pitch looks good for batting later on. If there is something in the wicket it will be early," Rahim said.
Proteas captain Faf du Plessis said he was "very surprised" at Rahim's decision. "It looks a little bit dry. I definitely would have batted. It looks a really good pitch and I expect it to spin later on."
South Africa included two new caps in opening batsman Aiden Markram, 22, and all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, 21. Both were members of South Africa's 2014 Under-19 World Cup winning team, led by Markram, along with fast bowler Kagiso Rabada.
Bangladesh included four seam bowlers and only one specialist spinner, off-spinner Mehidy Hasan.
Faf du Plessis (capt), Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wkt), Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Duanne Olivier
Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Imrul Kayes, Tamim Iqbal, Mominul Haque, Mahmudullah, Liton Das (wkt), Mehidy Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Rubel Hossain
Umpires: Chris Gaffaney (NZL), Bruce Oxenford (AUS)
TV umpire: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)