England won the toss and decided to bat in the third Test against South Africa at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
England captain Michael Vaughan said the pitch looked good for batting and he expected it to help spin bowling later in the match.
South African captain Graeme Smith, who has been suffering from a sore back, was named in the South African team but played a minimal role in his team's pre-match warm-ups.
Ryan Sidebottom returned to the England side after missing the Leeds Test because of a back injury, while Paul Collingwood returned to the side after being dropped. They replaced Stuart Broad and Darren Pattinson.
Fast bowler Andre Nel played for South Africa in place of Dale Steyn, who suffered a broken left thumb during the second Test.
The weather was cool and overcast.
South Africa lead the four-match series 1-0 after winning the second Test in Leeds by ten wickets.
England: Michael Vaughan (captain), Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Tim Ambrose, James Anderson, Ryan Sidebottom, Monty Panesar.
South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Neil McKenzie, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Ashwell Prince, AB de Villiers, Mark Boucher, Morne Morkel, Paul Harris, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini.
Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK), Steve Davis (AUS). Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)