2nd Test: Steve Smith wins toss, opts to bat against South Africa

The Invincibles have won the first test by 118 runs in Durban Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 09, 2018, 08.34 AM (IST)

Australian skipper Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bat on the opening day of the second test against South Africa at St George’s Park on Friday.

Australia have picked the same team for the seventh successive test.

Despite being a bowling pitch, Smith took the long view of not having to bat last on a pitch that aids reverse swing.

"There is a little bit of grass on it and it might do a little bit this morning, but if we can get through that and post a big first innings total then reverse swing becomes important later on," said Smith 

The Invincibles have won the first test by 118 runs in Durban and can end South Africa’s hopes of a series victory with another win in Port Elizabeth in the four-match series.

"It was a nice start (in Durban), we played some really good cricket. We want to keep up the pressure this week,” the skipper added. 

Meanwhile, South African captain Faf du Plessis said he was relieved that the decision to bat or bowl was taken out of his hands.

"I was extremely happy to lose the toss," Du Plessis said. 

"I was 50-50, we probably would have gone with bowling first. With the conditions today and the forecast over the next five days, it won’t get too hot so the pitch won’t deteriorate much."

The home side has made one change to their line-up, bringing in seamer Lungi Ngidi for the more experienced Morne Morkel, who recently announced his retirement from international cricket after this series.