Faf du Plessis and his Proteas heroes made a triumphant return home after a third straight Test series victory over Australia Down Under.
And the stand-in skipper hailed his side for standing by him in the “Mint-gate” scandal, which he believes the Aussies tried to use as “a ploy to derail” them.
In the end, the Proteas lost the third and final Test after closing out the series in Hobart, where the batsman was charged and fined for ball tampering.
But Faf says: “That was our challenge. To try and make sure we fight back. The Australians tried to use that a ploy to try and derail us – they think of themselves as the 12th man.
“But the way we stood up to them as a team was remarkable – they way the guys went on the field to fight the battle for me and support me 100 percent is something you don’t see in modern sport, so that tells you a lot about where we are as a team.
“So it’s great to see how the whole squad has stood together.”
Faf also spoke about the return of regular captain AB de Villiers to the team, now that he has recovered from elbow surgery ahead of next month’s visit of Sri Lanka.
He adds: “Ja, AB is back. Then on top of that, you have JP [Duminy], Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn who are all part of the leadership group.
“I don’t see it as a massive transition if AB takes over. He will always have my support.”