New Zealand won the toss and decided to bat in the first Test against South Africa at Newlands on Wednesday.
South Africa fielded the team that won the third and final Test against Australia in Perth last month, when they confirmed their ranking as the number one team in the world.
Eighth-ranked New Zealand were led for the first time in a Test match by Brendon McCullum.
The pitch appeared to have a good covering of grass and was expected to give the bowlers some help in the early stages of the match, which started under a cloudless sky.
South Africa: Graeme Smith(c), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers (wk), Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum (c), Kane Williamson, BJ Watling (wk), Daniel Flynn, Dean Brownlie, James Franklin, Doug Bracewell, Jeetan Patel, Trent Boult, Chris Martin.
Catch live scores and ball-by-ball commentary of the first day's play between South Africa and New Zealand here
First Published: January 2, 2013, 1:36 pm