Elgar hopes to exploit England’s insecurities
England captain Joe Root, leading the side for the first time, won the toss and opted to bat in the first test against South Africa at Lord's on Thursday.
England picked spinner Liam Dawson, while Keaton Jennings will open the batting with former skipper Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance returns at number three.
South Africa, captained by Dean Elgar in the absence of Faf du Plessis, named all-rounder Theunis de Bruyn at number six and opener Heino Kuhn makes his test debut.
South Africa will seek to exploit any weaknesses England may display when they face each other at the opening test under a new captain and with some injury concerns, the tourists' stand-in skipper Dean Elgar has said earlier.
South Africa are themselves missing regular captain Faf du Plessis, who has opted out of the first match of the four-test series due to family reasons, leading batsman AB de Villiers and pace spearhead Dale Steyn.
Thursday's match will be Joe Root's coronation as England's new test captain, while the hosts are missing injured pace duo Chris Woakes and Jake Ball.
England's experienced pace duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad are also returning to the side after injury-forced absences.
"New leadership, a few new faces in their batting line-up, a few injury concerns," Elgar told reporters.
"Sitting here as a South African player I see it as a good opportunity for us to try and make a dent.
"They have their own insecurities within their team. They're under new leadership and everyone is asking Root what his captaincy is going to be like."
The Proteas, ranked number two in tests, have won their last two series in England and also won in Australia in their last visit Down Under.
In the absence of Steyn, Elgar is banking on the 22-year-old pace sensation Kagiso Rabada to lead the South African attack in seamer-friendly English conditions.
"I'm glad he (Rabada) is in my team. He's been a find and he's taken to international cricket brilliantly," Elgar added.
"Those were the characteristics we expected he would show at this level. I'm sure he'll be up for it. He hasn't played a lot of cricket of late so I'm sure his hunger is through the roof.
"You can see the way he's bowling in the nets. He's fresh and willing to go. If he hits his straps he's going to be something exciting to watch.”