South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl in the second Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Thursday.
The Proteas have kept the same line-up that played in the drawn first Test in Dunedin while injuries to Ross Taylor and Trent Boult have forced an understrength New Zealand to make several changes.
"There's probably a bit in (the pitch) early. But it's usually a good surface," South African captain Faf du Plessis said with the wicket showing a green tinge.
To compensate for the loss of Taylor, who has been replaced by Neil Broom, and with Jeetan Patel preferred as the sole spinner, New Zealand have included all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme to prop up their batting stocks.
This has meant going into a Test with only two frontline seamers. Tim Southee, who missed the Dunedin Test, returns to join Neil Wagner.
Patel won out over Mitchell Santner for the spinner's role, having claimed Quinton de Kock's wicket in four consecutive innings and with the Basin Reserve being his home ground.
Wellington has a good history for South Africa who have won four of six Tests in the New Zealand capital.
Although the last Test in 2012 was drawn, Vernon Philander took six for 81 in the first innings and Morne Morkel collected his career best six for 23 in the second.
New Zealand won their last outing in Wellington two months ago when Bangladesh posted 595 for eight declared in their first innings and finished with the unwanted record of the highest first innings score in a losing Test.
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Kane Williamson (capt), Neil Broom, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Jeetan Patel.
South Africa: Dean Elgar, Stephen Cook, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel.
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI), Rod Tucker (AUS)
Third umpire: Bruce Oxenford (AUS)
Match referee: David Boon (AUS)