If Ashes is the Gold medal in Cricket, matches between Australia and South Africa arguably forms the silver medal. Over the years, Ashes has survived more on hype rather than substance, while contests between the latter have enthused cricket fans from all over the world.
It is safe to say Australia have had the better of South Africa in the early years, although South Africa announced their re-entry to World Cricket by thumping the Aussies in the 1992 World Cup. The Aussies, however, thrived in a golden period for them ranging from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s and had the better of the Rainbow Nation many a time. Recently the trend has changed, though, and South Africa have held the aces- except in World Tournaments, of course - over the Australians.
The emergence of World Class talents in Graeme Smith, AB De Villiers, Dale Steyn, Faf Du Plessis, Morne Morkel and Quinton De Kock have seen South Africa battling it out better on the cricket field against the Aussies. The Australians have enjoyed a World Cup win recently but did not have to face South Africa. Test match history, of late, between the sides reveal a story. Both have had success in the other nation while failing to do the same at home.
In the light of an impending South African tour Down Under, it is worth going through some intense battle between star players from either side. These face-offs have made matches between them gruelling and kept fans on the edge of their seats.
#5 Allan Donald and Steve Waugh
In the second Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground of the 1997/98 South Africa tour of Australia, Allan Donald was given the new ball. He softened up the Waugh brothers with a fiery spell of fast bowling that had the brothers hopping around. The White Lightning, as he is known, Donald kept probing Steve with short stuff before cleaning him up with a full delivery.
Donald describes Steve Waugh as a batsman who you want to get out in the first 20 balls. He describes that, like England opener, Michael Atherton, he tends to stay deep in the crease early in his innings and at this stage bowling at his stumps will knock him over.
At the MCG, Donald bowled a slower delivery first up in a Test to Steve Waugh. Waugh was hanging back for the short ball and the change up shook him. Waugh was heard to have said, "Jeez, that was different".
Waugh, however, had a good time against the South Africans in general. His famous 120 in the 1999 World Cup Super Six match went on to become the vital innings that would knock South Africa out of the tournament.