Skipper Faf du Plessis told a press conference at Trent Bridge that JP Duminy would make way for him as he returns to lead the Proteas against England.
Du Plessis also advised that Duanne Olivier would replace the suspended Kagiso Rabada in a ‘like for like’ swap.
The selection of Olivier is primarily based on his promise as a strike bowler, he ended the first class season as the leading wicket-taker in the Sunfoil series.
That does however leave the Proteas sporting quite a long tail with Rabada a handy lower order batsman missing after he was banned following a send-off given to English allrounder Ben Stokes.
Rabada has bowled the most overs for South Africa over the last year and taken the most wickets leaving Olivier with massive boots to fill.
Du Plessis intimated that the only selection question they had is whether to play seven batsmen including wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock or leave out Theunis de Bruyn to wedge in seam-bowling allrounder Chris Morris.
The skipper will announce the XI at the toss on Friday morning with Joe Root already revealing that England will play an unchanged team after winning the first Test by 211 runs.
Swing bowler Vernon Philander came through various scans this week all clear and will take his place in the XI despite a brave knock in the first Test that saw him sustain heavy bruising to his bowling hand.
Proteas team (likely): Dean Elgar, Heino Kuhn, Hashim Amla, Faf du plessis, Theunis de Bruyn or Chris Morris, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Duanne Olivier, Morne Morkel