Australia tend to start a home Test series with the usual pre-series talk and try to upset the opposition in whatever manner possible. But interestingly, this time around, they have been rather quiet, except responding to some the jabs volleyed by the Proteas in the past week.
Their ex-players, Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin, relentless chatterboxes on the field during their time with the national squad, have spoken about toning down the sledging and concentrating on winning the match. This could stem from a rather poor One Day series against the visitors just a few weeks ago or from the fact that the visitors have had considerable success in Australia in their last two tours.
Whatever the reason be, Australia are strangely on the back foot even before the series has started, despite a huge name like De Villiers missing in the Proteas squad. That it will take a humongous effort from the likes of Starc, Warner and skipper Smith to win the first Perth Test is quite obvious to every cricket fan.
Let us take a look at some means the Aussies should seek to win the first Test.
#1 Build a good first innings total
This will be of utmost priority against a South African line-up missing AB De Villiers. Irrespective of how many Proteas score in their first innings, the Aussies should look to build a total above 450 in their first innings to put pressure on the South African batsmen when they come out to bat.
The threat of Starc will loom large only if they have a huge total on board and it is up to the Aussie batsmen to give it their all in the first innings and counter the likes of Steyn, Rabada and Philander.
Perth is expected to remain a dead batting pitch with loads of bounce and once the Aussies account for that extra bounce, they should have a good time against a one-dimensional Proteas attack.