Stuart Broad, called into the ODI squad as a replacement following Steven Finn and Liam Plunkett’s injuries, will sit out the fixture at the Diamond Oval along with Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes and Joe Root.
They were all heavily involved in the 2-1 Test series win over South Africa and with an ongoing hectic schedule in mind England have taken the opportunity to manage workloads.
Jos Buttler, by contrast, has been a bystander as wicketkeeping cover to Jonny Bairstow for the past seven weeks and it will be two months exactly when he returns behind the stumps today since he last played in the tied Twenty20 and dramatic super-over success in Sharjah which wrapped up a 3-0 series win against Pakistan.
It fell to him to confirm England’s plans, after practice, and his own readiness for a return to the thick of the action.
“Broad, Woakes, Stokes and Root are missing out,” he said.
“Obviously, those guys have played a lot of Test cricket – and it gives others a chance to play and impress.
“They are obviously some good guys missing out, who will be in contention for the first ODI.”
Buttler has had to be patient, having lost his Test place to Yorkshire’s Bairstow, for his moment to demonstrate again his importance to the limited-overs side.
That was evident against Pakistan before Christmas, when he beat his own record for England’s fastest century, off 46 balls in Dubai.
He said: “I’m very excited to play a game of cricket.
“It’s been a long tour – and even though I haven’t played, I feel like I’ve learnt a lot.
“It’s obviously been a fantastic tour to be on, winning the series.
“I’m desperate to play, and have had to wait for my chance. But going into this one-day series, coming off the back of a good one in the UAE, I’ll be trying not to be too over-eager and just let it happen and enjoy playing.”
England (possible, v South Africa A): EJG Morgan (capt), AD Hales, JJ Roy, JWA Taylor, MM Ali, JC Buttler (wkt), JM Bairstow, AU Rashid, DJ Willey, CJ Jordan, RJW Topley.
Scotland’s ICC World League Championship match against Hong Kong was abandoned without a ball bowled due to rain.
The second one-day international between the sides in Mong Kok was initially forced into a reserve day but there was no chance of play. Hong Kong go ahead of Holland at the top of the standings and Scotland lie third.