South Africa's frustrating morning was compounded when seamer Morne Morkel, playing in his final test before retirement from worldwide cricket, was forced from the field with a left side strain that leaves his further participation in the test in doubt. But the progress of the hosts was slowed by Australia's fightback - and an injury to Morne Morkel which could weaken South Africa's bowling attack when Australia bat again.

After South Africa ended the opening day on 313 for six, Paine said he wants his team to show more sportsmanship rather than feel they have to belittle the opposition because that has been the team's culture.

Paine was named captain for the final Test of the four-match series after Australia's regular captain Steven Smith was banned, alongside David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, for their role in the ball tampering saga that unfurled during the Newlands Test.

'I've been watching SuperSport this week and they've had the soccer on and I notice they do that (shake hands) every game, ' Paine told reporters after the day's play.

Tim Paine, the Australian captain who batted with a hairline fracture of the right thumb, was last man out for 62, caught by a diving Dean Elgar in the deep off Kagiso Rabada. "It's OK, it's got a little crack in it, but I've played through worse", he added.

The Australian players stood in a circle before play began on the first day on Friday to congratulate bowler Chadd Sayers as he was selected for his debut and awarded his test cap. "I thought our energy right through the innings was excellent".

Tasked with putting the shattered morale of the team back together, he led from the front, combining with Cummins for a 99-run partnership at the start of Sunday after Australia was in danger of collapsing at 96-6 on day two. "But in cricket there is a second innings and another day, so we dusted ourselves off and tried to do as best as we can", he said.

He departed the field in the first session to get treatment and some strapping, but returned and would try and "push on" for the rest of his farewell game, the South Africa team said.

A South African team spokesman said the injury was in the same area that he damaged in a Test against Bangladesh in October, keeping him out of action for two months.

With the ghastly week that the Australians have had to endure, their efforts on Sunday were impressive.

"We are happy to do that and I actually think it suits this group of players, we are a different group than Australia have had for a long time".