India skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first in the opening Test against South Africa in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.
The hosts had announced their team on Tuesday and Kohli said it was a great opportunity for Rohit Sharma to seal his spot as a Test opener in the three-match series.
“No brainer, going to bat. Looks a good wicket. Will play well for the first couple of days. Nature of the pitch is that it’ll get slower after that,” Kohli said at the toss.
“Great opportunity for Rohit at the top of the order. He’s excited to get the role clarity. It’s a new opportunity for him.”
South Africa, led by Faf du Plessis, have opted for two specialist spinners in Keshav Maharaj and Dane Piedt, while spin-bowling all-rounder Senuran Muthusamy has been handed his Test debut.
Du Plessis said his young team was ready for the challenge in India after the retirements of Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn in August.
“We’ve lost a few Test players, even in the last year or so. Fresh start for a lot of new faces. Very young group. Nice challenge for us,” said Du Plessis.
“These guys will be the next Dale Steyns and the next Hashim Amlas. Good to be at the start of the journey for them, have to try and play a mentorship role to get them through.”
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (capt), Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Senuran Muthusamy, Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada
Umpires: Chris Gaffaney (NZL), Richard Illingworth (ENG)
TV Umpire: Nigel Llong (ENG)
Match referee: Richie Richardson (WIS)