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Nick Compton was given an early chance to restate his England credentials after being included at number three in the first tour match against a South African Invitational XI in Potchefstroom.
Compton played the last of his nine Tests in May 2013 but has been given first opportunity to replace Ian Bell at first drop.
Alastair Cook won the toss and chose to bat first in the three-day game, during which England will use 13 players, including the uncapped left-arm seamer Mark Footitt.
Gary Ballance and James Anderson will not bat in the first innings but will play some part in the match, with Chris Jordan, Samit Patel and Jos Buttler left out entirely.
Steven Finn, who joined the squad on Monday evening, will continue to build fitness at the Senwes Park training complex.