The first test against Australia takes place at the Wanderers tomorrow at 10.30am (8.30am GMT) with South Africa fielding an unchanged side. The Australians are in tatters, with as many as 3 debuts handed out tomorrow, its fair to say they are in a new and unchartered phase for a team that has for so long dominated the game. It is debateable as to whether they are rebuilding or realising the loss or Warne, McGrath and Hayden can have on a side, and look a fraction of the team that played in the last ashes series
Australia have won the last three Tests between the two sides at the Wanderers and two of the successes were innings victories however Australia can be thankful the weather will be kind to them with showers predicted during the test, which will certainly hamper the chances of a result.
Apart from the good form the South Africans have shown in the batting department, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn will be difficult to face with the build up indicating that there will be plenty of swing, which should help the Australian bowlers who are lacking in the pace department.
Entering into this test, Jacques Kallis needs 12 runs to become the first South African to reach 10,000 and only the 8th player to do so. AB de Villiers will become the fourth South African to play 50 consecutive Tests
Look out for Phil Hughes, a youngster who has set the domestic scene alight this season for Australia and at 20 is the youngest test debut since Craig McDermott in 1984!!!
Tomorrow will be interesting, especially interesting will be what the Australian side looks like, with the below being the probable sides:
1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Neil McKenzie, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 JP Duminy, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Morne Morkel, 9 Paul Harris, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Makhaya Ntini.
1.Phillip Hughes, 2 Simon Katich, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Hussey, 5 Michael Clarke, 6 Marcus North, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Peter Siddle, 10 Doug Bollinger, 11 Ben Hilfenhaus, 12 Andrew McDonald.