Australia faces uphill battle in toppling South Africa from No.1 spot
Pace legend Glenn McGrath has warned that Australia faces an uphill battle in toppling South Africa as Test cricket's No.1 side in the three-Test series starting at the Gabba on Friday.
The Proteas surged to the apex of world cricket with a 2-0 defeat of England in August and can stamp their supremacy by Beating Michael Clarke's team for the second consecutive series on Australian soil.
The former Test spearhead said South Africa's class of 2012 is a superior unit to past touring outfits.
McGrath said: "I was impressed with the way the Australian team played last year against India, but they will be up against it against South Africa. They have the best bowlers in the world, Dale Steyn is a world-class bowler and (Vernon) Philander has impressed me with the way he has come onto the scene.
"There's no weakness there, they are No.1 in the world and deservedly so. Losing Shane Watson (injury) is a huge loss for us but it opens the door for someone like Rob Quiney to show what he can do.
"The batting side of things is what will settle the series, whichever team handles the fast bowlers better will win the series and at the moment Australia has to play out of their shoes to match the South Africans."
Of Australia's slide from the No.1 ranking, McGrath said: "It's the way it goes, the Australian team has come a long way from when the old boys retired, we lost seven senior players over a two-year period so that knocks any team around a fair bit. But they have done well to rebuild."