South Africa have won their eighth straight toss and chosen to bat against New Zealand in the crucial third cricket test at Seddon Park in Hamilton today.

Early rain had delayed the start and the forecast for the five days of the match, which New Zealand must win to square the series, is grim, with a rain belt sweeping across the country.

South Africa have introduced middle-order batsman Theunis de Bruyn for his first test to open in place of out-of-form Stephen Cook in their only change from the second test, when they thumped New Zealand inside three days at the Basin Reserve last weekend.

New Zealand have dropped Jimmy Neesham and are missing Tim Southee from the second test lineup. All-rounder Mitchell Santner and seamer Matt Henry come in.

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The South Africans are also looking to enhance an outstanding away test record. They have lost just one series away from home since 2007, while winning 11 and drawing three.

The sole loss came in India in late 2015.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson ©, Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Neil Broom, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Mitch Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Jeetan Patel, Matt Henry, Neil Wagner

South Africa: Faf du Plessis ©, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel.