LONDON: South Africa captain Graeme Smith won the toss and elected to bat against England in the third and final Test at Lord's here on Thursday.
England made two changes from the side that drew the second Test at Headingley.
Kevin Pietersen, dropped for sending "provocative texts" to South African players despite making 149 in Leeds, was replaced by Jonathan Bairstow -- appearing in only his fourth Test.
And off-spinner Graeme Swann returned in place of Tim Bresnan after England opted for an all seam attack at Headingley.
South Africa, 1-0 up in this three-match series, were unchanged for a fixture where they only needed to avoid defeat to replace England as the world's number one ranked Test side.
Smith was appearing in an all-time record 94th Test as captain, overtaking the mark of 93 Tests as skipper set by Australia great Allan Border.
Meanwhile this match marked England captain Andrew Strauss's 100th Test and 50th as captain, the Middlesex batsman bringing up his century of appearances on his Lord's home ground where he made his England debut in 2004.
England: Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, James Taylor, Jonathan Bairstow, Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, James Anderson
South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers (wkt), Jacques Rudolph, JP Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir
Umpires: Simon Taufel (AUS) and Kumar Dharmasena (SL), TV umpire: Rod Tucker (AUS)
Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZ)