After four days of rain the covers were peeled off the Basin Reserve wicket on Tuesday and to South Africa's delight it was green ahead of the second Test against New Zealand.
Tim Southee, who was left out of the first Test to allow the Black Caps to accommodate two spinners, will replace Boult although the final XI will not be named until the morning.
"Taylor's replacement, Neil Broom, is to make his Test debut at the age of 33, while number five Henry Nicholls is still trying to cement his place in worldwide cricket".
Between five of them - Tom Latham (30), Jeet Raval (5) and Henry Nicholls (12) and James Neesham (11) - they have a 58 caps, one fewer than captain Kane Williamson who has played 59 Tests.
"It's important for us to put pressure on him, not make him feel comfortable and not giving him easy boundaries and runs so he settles". Broom will bat at No. 4 in the New Zealand order.
Currently‚ the only slow bowler in the visitors' ranks is left-armer Keshav Maharaj‚ who took 5/94 in New Zealand's only innings in the drawn first test at University Oval in Dunedin. "There's some inexperience there", du Plessis said. "Trent being one of the fittest guys in the side does everything he possibly can to keep himself fit, so it's unfortunate that it has come but I am sure he will be right come Hamilton".
New Zealand's situation is not helped by the loss of batsman Ross Taylor and injury concerns surrounding fast bowler Trent Boult who has until Wednesday evening to prove his fitness.
"And Morne has done the donkey work for years for South Africa". He has taken 24 Test wickets.
Broom has already faced the Proteas this summer, managing scores of just two, two and zero in last month's one-day global series - a recent record which underlies du Plessis' confidence in his bowling attack.
"So there's excitement for our seamers and they will enjoy that, but so will New Zealand, they've got a good seam attack depending on Boult's fitness", added the South African skipper.