Clarke chooses to bat first

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Adelaide - Australia captain Michael Clarke won the toss and elected to bat first in the second Test at Adelaide Oval on Thursday, a second blow for South Africa after they lost paceman Vernon Philander to a back injury.

Rory Kleinveldt, who made his debut in the drawn first test in Brisbane, will replace Philander in the pace attack along with Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

“Vernon must have slept very badly last night and woke up with a bad back and he's out of the test match so Rory Kleinveldt will come in for him,” South Africa skipper Graeme Smith said.

The injury to Philander, second in the ICC bowling rankings, is a major loss for South Africa, who have already lost all rounder JP Duminy for the series to an Achilles injury.

Faf du Plessis makes his debut in the side in place of Duminy, while spinner Imran Tahir has been recalled after being benched at the Gabba.

“Imran's played a few test matches now and has played reasonably well and hopefully that will get better and better as time goes on,” Smith said.

Clarke named an unchanged lineup on Wednesday and will be pleased to win the toss on a wicket that traditionally offers little to the bowlers over the first two to three days.

Teams:

Australia - Michael Clarke (captain), Ed Cowan, David Warner, Rob Quiney, Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey, Matt Wade, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nathan Lyon.

South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Jacques Rudolph, Faf du Plessis, Rory Kleinveldt, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel. - Reuters


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