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Smith wins toss, Australia bat in second Test against South Africa

Port Elizabeth: Steve Smith has opted to bat in overcast conditions, backing Australia's batsmen to handle what is expected to be a tough start to their second cricket Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth.

Smith, seeking to take a 2-0 lead in the four-Test series, named an unchanged XI after winning his second toss of the tour.

"There's a little bit of grass on the pitch. Hopefully we can post a big first- innings total," Australia's captain said.

Light rain delayed the toss to St George's Park by 10 minutes, but play was set to start on time.

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis claimed he would likely have bowled first given the assistance that is expected to be on offer for his side's pacemen.

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"Really tough one to call this, I was extremely happy to lose the toss," du Plessis said.

South Africa have made one change to the team that suffered a 118-run defeat in Durban, bringing young paceman Lungi Ngidi in at the expense of beanpole Morne Morkel.

David Warner and Quinton de Kock's staircase stoush at Kingsmead has strained relations between the rivals this week.

Smith and du Plessis met with match referee Jeff Crowe on match eve, with both captains expressing hope this game will be played in better spirits than the acrimonious first Test.

Teams

South Africa: Faf du Plessis (captain), Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi.

Australia: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (wicketkeeper), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood. (Reporting By Nick Said Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

AAP