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Australia win toss and bat after rain delay

Written by: Staff

CENTURION, South Africa Feb 26: Morning rain kept South Africa and Australia off the field for 30 minutes in the first one-day international in Centurion today, but Australia have won the toss and will bat first.

Captain Ricky Ponting is not in the Australian line-up, having strained an abdominal muscle while batting in the indoor nets yesterday.

''It is a painful condition which is central to all movement, so it affects his batting, bowling and running - pretty much everything,'' Australian physiotherapist Errol Alcott was quoted as saying in a Cricket Australia media advisory today.

Adam Gilchrist will take over the captaincy, with Australia down to 11 fit players due to injuries to all rounder Andrew Symonds and paceman Stuart Clark.

Symonds has a thigh strain and Clark a bruised rib.

South Africa have made five changes to the team that lost to Sri Lanka in Hobart on February. 7 to be eliminated from the VB Series.

AB de Villiers replaces Ashwell Prince and will also take over the wicketkeeping duties from Mark Boucher, who will play as a batsman only.

The injured Charl Langeveldt, suspended spinner Johan Botha and Dale Steyn have been replaced by Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson and Andre Nel.

Teams South Africa - Graeme Smith, Boeta Dippenaar, AB de Villiers, Herschelle Gibbs, Justin Kemp, Shaun Pollock, Mark Boucher, Robin Peterson, Andrew Hall, Makhaya Ntini, Andre Nel.

Australia - Adam Gilchrist, Simon Katich, Damien Martyn, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Shane Watson, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Nathan Bracken, Mitchell Johnson, Mick Lewis.


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