New Zealand are without pace spearhead Shane Bond who was ruled out of the match with a stiff back. All-rounder Scott Styris sits out with a hamstring niggle.
Sri Lanka and Pakistan, who clash in Jaipur on Tuesday, are the other two teams in the group from where the top two will advance to the semi-finals.
Group A comprises world champions Australia, England, the West Indies and hosts India.
Pollock draws first blood: Shaun Pollock drew first blood for Proteas when he shattered the stumps of Lou Vincent (17 off 29). It was Pollock's 350th wicket in ODI. Kiwis were 42/1 in 11 overs with skipper Fleming (16 off 28) and veteran Astle were at the crease
New Zealand: Stephen Fleming (capt), Nathan Astle, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Brendon McCullum, Hamish Marshall, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Daniel Vettori, Lou Vincent.
South Africa: Graeme Smith (capt), Mark Boucher, Boeta Dippenaar, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Hall, Jacques Kallis, Justin Kemp, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson, Shaun Pollock.
Umpires: Mark Benson (ENG) and Aleem Dar (PAK)
TV umpire: Asad Rauf (PAK)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SL)