South Africa won the toss and opted to bowl in the third and final Twenty20 international against India at Newlands on Saturday.
India were captained by Rohit Sharma, who said regular captain Virat Kohli was missing because of a stiff back.
India made three changes, with Dinesh Karthik replacing Kohli, while left-arm spinner Axar Patel came in for Yuzvendra Chahal and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah returned in place of Jaydev Unadkat.
Sharma said he was happy to be batting first. "In the last two games we have had decent runs on the board.We want to end the tour on a high."
South Africa brought in a new cap, batsman Christiaan Jonker, with David Miller moving up to open the batting in place of Jon-Jon Smuts. Left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso replaced fast bowler Dane Paterson.
South African captain JP Duminy said bowling first "is a formula that has worked for us".
South Africa: JP Duminy (captain), David Miller, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen (wkt), Farhaan Behardien, Christiaan Jonker, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Aaron Phangiso, Junior Dala, Tabraiz Shamsi.
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (wkt), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah.
Umpires: Shaun George, Bongani Jele (both RSA)
TV umpire: Adrian Holdstock (RSA)
Match referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)