Morné Morkel will be part of the Proteas pace attack against Sri Lanka. Photo: Reuters

The Proteas have opted to retain Morné Morkel in their starting XI and will bat first against Sri Lanka in their ICC Champions Trophy opener against Sri Lanka at The Oval in London on Saturday.

Play will start at 11.30am SA time.

Sri Lankan captain Upul Tharanga won the toss and decided to bowl first, with Proteas skipper AB de Villiers stating that he would’ve made the same decision if he had called correctly.

Not a problem (for the Proteas to bat first). We would’ve bowled first as well. We feel we have covered all bases and are well prepared,” De Villiers said at the toss.

“We’ve gone with Morné Morkel, we know what he can do for us. But we are still well balanced and can bat down to number eight and even nine.”

But while the outcome of the toss was out of their hands, the Proteas brainstrust have opted to keep Morkel in the side as a front-line paceman, with all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo missing out.

Spinner Imran Tahir returns from a slight niggle that kept him out of the 2-1 series defeat to England, with Kagiso Rabada, Wayne Parnell and Chris Morris making up the rest of the attack.

Teams For The Oval

South Africa: Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (captain), JP Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Morné Morkel, Imran Tahir.

Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (captain), Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera, Chamara Kapugedara, Asela Gunaratne, Sekkuge Prasanna, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lasith Malinga.

IOL Sport

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