Groundsmen worked to clear water from the pitch after rain delayed the start of play between South Africa and New Zealand in Dunedin.

Dunedin - New Zealand captain Ross Taylor won the toss and chose to field in the first Test against South Africa at University Oval in Dunedin on Wednesday.

Play will begin at 14h15 (03h15 GMT) after rain had delayed the start of play by almost four hours.

South African born wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk will make his test debut for New Zealand after BJ Watling was ruled out with a nagging hip injury, while Rob Nichol also makes his debut after strong form in limited over series.

Taylor returns to the side after recovering from a calf injury he sustained against Zimbabwe in January.

The Proteas can reach the top of the world test rankings if they complete a clean sweep in the three-test series.

New Zealand: Ross Taylor (captain), Martin Guptill, Rob Nicol, Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson, Daniel Vettori, Kruger van Wyk, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Chris Martin.

South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Jacques Rudolph, Mark Boucher, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Vernon Philander. - Reuters