Proteas looking for taking their legacy up a notch against Australia
When South Africa taken on Australia at home from this week, they will be on a mission to create a lasting legacy of excellence as well as to earn the respect of the latter.
According to an article in The Guardian, the Proteas mission and team culture is of five years standing, and its inspiration has been a video that helped them get a sense of what it means to represent the country.
Speaking in that video of 2009 were Nelson Mandela and his fellow anti-apartheid inmate Ahmed Kathrada.
Since then, South Africa have become one of the most impressive - and entertaining - teams in world cricket.
The upcoming three-Test series against a revitalised Australian team is being seen as very important not just to help build their legacy, but also to assert their status as the No.1 cricket team in the world.
Out of the top eight Test nations, South Africa have played fewer Tests than anyone else, with just 41 matches in the last five years. In that time, they have a better win/loss ratio than anybody else, having lost just nine Tests.
Their results away from South Africa are even better, with just two losses in 15 Tests in the five year period. Nobody else has a better record.
Since their re-induction into international cricket in 1991-92, the South Africans have always had to prove themselves time and time again, and if there is one area where they could improve, it is in series at home.
Although they have beaten Pakistan, New Zealand and India as hosts in the last year, they have come up short against the old enemy Australia in the past.
The team possess the fighting spirit, has two visceral bowlers in Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, and in Morne Morkel, they have a bowler who has an incredible knack for turning the screws on the opposition.
For Australia, the prowling Mitchell Johnson, never-say-die Peter Siddle and injury-prone Ryan Harris will also be tested.
As a batting unit, South Africa, has scored over 300 five times in their last 10 innings. However, the hosts' batting line-up will have one significant change. There will be no Jacques Kallis, and Faf du Plessis is most likely to move up the order and fill the spot.
On paper, the South Africans hold the aces, and probably have the best chance ever to beat the Aussies on home soil.
(Posted on 10-02-2014)