Proteas filled with 'fresh new energy'

Fast and furious Kagiso Rabada is one of the most exciting talents in the South Africa Test side and will target England’s key batsmen

Fast and furious Kagiso Rabada is one of the most exciting talents in the South Africa Test side and will target England’s key batsmen

Elgar, who becomes the 12th player to captain South Africa since their readmission to global cricket 25 years ago, stands in for Faf du Plessis, who misses the first Test to be with his wife Imari after the birth of their first child.

The 32-year-old headed back home to attend the birth of his first child after their unsuccessful Champions Trophy, but will not be able to fly back to England in time for the opening game.

"I think South Africa have always prided themselves on stepping up to the occasion".

Meanwhile, South Africa have not lost a Test series since England last toured in 2015 and beat them on home soil. She has since been discharged from hospital.

Opener Dean Elgar will captain the side for the first time, while Du Plessis will rejoin the squad later this week, but not in time to play on Thursday.

England will start the first Test with three-left handers in their top order something that won't displease Morkel and Philander and it would be no surprise that they took the new ball and not Kagiso Rabada.

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Elgar becomes the 12th player to captain South Africa since their readmission to worldwide cricket. "He epitomizes South African cricket to the tee". Besides his superb skill, Philander brings a forthrightness to the squad offering clarity following a few weeks in which there's been little of it for the South African team.

As for Elgar, Philander said: "He's got a job to do".

"It could play on your mind if you're not used to it", said Philander of the slope.

Philander and the bowling unit will have to set the tone for the tourists against an England side that has plenty to ponder in terms of the selection of its starting team.

His man-of-the-match performance in the 51-run win at the ground in 2012 led the Proteas to a 2-0 series victory and the No.1 Test ranking.