LONDON — South Africa captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to field against England in the opening match of the World Cup at the Oval on Thursday despite being without injured fast bowler Dale Steyn.
England, the world's top-ranked one-day international side and the tournament favorites, included fast bowler Liam Plunkett in a line-up captained by Eoin Morgan, with Tom Curran missing out on his Surrey home ground.
South Africa omitted allrounder Chris Morris, with Dwayne Pretorius selected as Du Plessis gave a vote of confidence to an attack without strike bowler Steyn, out with a shoulder injury.
"A 10.30 am start at The Oval — if there's anything in the wicket, it'll be in the first hour. We've got some fantastic fast bowlers and we're hoping it'll be a great occasion today," said Du Plessis.
Morgan said: "We would have looked to do the same, just preferring chasing. The wicket looks really good.
"The balance we've gone with is for South Africa so hopefully it is the right one. Mark Wood has trained fully and is available for selection, but unfortunately he's missed out.
"Jofra (Archer) has come in and impressed. He's very calm when he plays. He's a very exciting prospect given this is the very start of his international career.
"The favorites tag sits with us comfortably. It's been a collective drive for us. I much prefer going in as favorites."
— Agence France-Presse