South Africa and Australia renew their rivalry again tonight when they do battle in the first of three Tests Down Under.
The clash at the Waca in Perth will set the tone for the series (start 3am).
Here the Daily Voice looks at the men who matter.
Quinton de Kock: A ball is a ball to this guy – regardless of its colour, he says. And South African fans will be hoping young De Kock is true to his word.
Having set alight the stage with his
performances for the ODI team, De Kock has no reason to be short on confidence heading into this Test series.
He will, however, have to keep his attacking mindset and chase the runs as you get the feeling that once he feels tied down, his confidence takes a knock.
Faf du Plessis: Du Plessis looks like the real deal as skipper of South Africa.
And having to go on tour without AB de Villiers is not something any Proteas team would want to do.
But with the results going their way in the recent ODI series whitewash against the Aussies, Du Plessis has somehow made this team believe that in every match there will be a hero and it might even be you.
It looks like egos in this side might be a thing of the past, and whether it’s Du Plessis’ influence or not – long may it continue.
Things can, however, turn nasty in an instant and that’s where Faf’s true ability as a captain will be measured.
Dale Steyn: He’s been talking the talk and now it’s time to walk the walk. Steyn has been quite vocal and has held nothing back in the build-up to this Test series.
You get the feeling that he likes nothing more than to bash the Aussies. He’s been there and done it before. And that’s why his experience of getting under the Aussies’ skins will be particularly important for the Proteas in this series.
Oh, and then there’s the bit about his bowling — if Steyn can continue where he left off (with eight wickets against New Zealand in his last Test in August), he will put the Proteas on the front foot.
Steve Smith: Captain Steve Smith has something to prove after his team were whitewashed in their last two series – in Tests against Sri Lanka and in ODIs against South Africa.
For this the 27-year-old is getting a lot of stick. Still ranked top of the Test batting standings, the Aussies are heavily reliant on their skipper.
The Proteas have made no secret that they will be targeting “the head of the snake”, so Smith will have to be at his best.
David Warner: If Smith is the head of this team, then Warner must be the heart and the soul. No other player in the team is as Aussie as the lefthanded opener.
He is as aggressive with his bek as he is with his bat and the Proteas will have to keep him quiet. Warner loves a contest and kept
Australia in the game on their way to a historic whitewash in South Africa with two tons.
The 30-year-old will be the first target for the Proteas to aim at. But he is a tough little so-and-so.
Mitchell Starc: Starc is revving himself up for the Proteas after missing out on the carnage in SA.
The Aussie gunslinger will not take any prisoners. The Baggy Greens definitely missed him for the ODI series.
And while he might not yet be up to speed fitness-wise, the 27-year-old left-arm pace ace can still work his way up to 160kph.
He will give the Proteas moerse problems with his angle of delivery and he can generate some serious swing with the older ball.
Starc is also known for his mean yorker and the Proteas will have to be on guard. He will no doubt have a big influence on the series.