England v South Africa, 2nd Test, Leeds, 1st dayEngland Opt to Bowl; Swann Dropped02-Aug-2012 12:42:00 GMT
Leeds: England won the toss and opted to bowl in warm and sunny conditions in the second test against South Africa on Thursday with the hosts drafting Steven Finn into the team in place of experienced spinner Graeme Swann for the match at Headingley.
It is the first time off-spinner Swann has been dropped by England in more than three years. He has been troubled by an elbow injury recently and was wicket-less in the first test for 151 runs.
England have not left out their front-line spin bowler in a test since they were beaten by South Africa by 191 runs on this ground in 2003.
Captain Andrew Strauss reasoned that the decision had been made because of the traditional way in which the ground has favoured the quick bowlers more than the spinners down the years.
South Africa captain Graeme Smith said he would have batted. James Taylor was the second change in England's team and will make his test debut after Ravi Bopara withdrew from the squad because of personal problems.
South Africa, as expected, named an unchanged team after their crushing innings and 12 run victory in the first test at The Oval that put them 1-0 up in the three-match series.
England are seeking to protect their position at the top of the world rankings as the Proteas will leapfrog them if they win this match for a series victory.
England: Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, James Taylor, Matt Prior (wicketkeeper), Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Steven Finn.
South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers (wicketkeeper), Jacques Rudolph, JP Duminy, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Imran Tahir.