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South Africa’s captain Graeme Smith won the toss and chose to bat first against Australia in the series-deciding third Test in Perth.

The visitors made three changes, bringing in Dean Elgar, Robin Peterson and Vernon Philander for Imran Tahir, Jacques Rudolph and Rory Kleinveldt.

Australia welcomed back the vice-captain and allrounder Shane Watson after injury, while also calling in a completely recast pace attack. Mitchell Starc, and Mitchell Johnson have been recalled while John Hastings makes his debut as the into-the-wind trundler so often favoured at the WACA ground.

While not only deciding the series and the destiny of the ICC’s No. 1 ranking, the match is also notable as Ricky Ponting’s last, after he announced his retirement on Thursday.

The weather in Perth is cool, but the pitch shows less signs of aiding bowlers than last summer’s prepared for India, when the match ended in three days.

Australia 1 Ed Cowan, 2 David Warner, 3 Shane Watson, 4 Ricky Ponting, 5 Michael Clarke (capt), 6 Michael Hussey, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 John Hastings, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Nathan Lyon.

South Africa 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers (wk), 6 Faf du Plessis, 7 Dean Elgar, 8 Robin Peterson, 9 Vernon Philander, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Morne Morkel.

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