Both sides come into the series following wins over Test minnows (Bangladesh in South Africa’s case; New Zealand for Australia), but it is the sides’ relative performance on their respective tours of India that gives the tourists real hope of causing an upset.
Australia have arguably never been more vulnerable at home. As well as suffering the psychological blow of defeat to India, the home side are missing Stuart Clark and haven’t yet found their best XI. Nathan Hauritz is replaced by Jason Krezja, and Peter Siddle gets another chance to stake his claim for a Test spot
For South Africa, much hangs on the form of their fast bowlers. If Steyn and Morkel bowl as well as they are able to, then they will cause problems for the Australian batsmen. Paul Harris, who is likely to play in the First Test, will also be a crucial figure for the tourists, who – on paper at least- should have a strong enough batting lineup to cope with Australia’s makeshift attack.