South Africa have as good a chance as any to clinch their first home series win against Australia since readmission.
SA vs Australia, 4th Test
Date: Friday, 30 March – Tuesday, 3 April.
Time: 10:00 (SAST).
Venue: The Wanderers, Johannesburg.
Live Stream & TV: SABC 3, SuperSport 2 (South Africa), Channel 9 (Australia) Sony Ten 1 & Sony Ten 3 (India), Sky Sports Main Event (UK).
South Africa have an opportunity to claim their first ever home Test series win against Australia in close to fifty years as they go into the fourth and final match at the Wanderers on Friday with a 2-1 lead.
As has been the case in the build up to each Test in the current series, controversy has overshadowed actual cricket and, this time around, the Aussies have taken it up a notch to actual scandal, following their ball tampering antics.
They go into the contest severely depleted as they will be missing two of their best batsmen in captain Steve Smith and his deputy, David Warner who, along with rookie opener, Cameron Bancroft have been sent back Down Under for their roles in the controversy.
Matt Renshaw, Joe Burns and Glenn Maxwell have been called up as replacements, with Tim Paine taking over as captain.
For South Africa, the Test is also a significant moment as veteran fast bowler, Morne Morkel makes his final appearance for the national side.
After sitting out the second Test played in Port Elizabeth, the 33-year old was back in the fold in place of Lungi Ngidi who missed out on selection due to injury and became only the fifth South African to reach 300 Test wickets en route to producing career best match figures as he took nine wickets for 110 runs across both innings.
Having relied heavily on their bowling attack in recent seasons, the home side will also be encouraged by the decent showing of their top order in the last few of games with openers, Aiden Markram and Dean Elgar both registering centuries, along with AB de Villiers at four.
However, the form of captain, Faf du Plessis will be of great concern as he has only managed 55 runs in six innings so far this series.
Heavy rains have ravaged the region in the past week but sunny conditions are forecast for the first two days of the Test with rain only predicted for Sunday.
Temperatures are expected too average in the low to mid twenties for the duration of the match.
The Wanderers is on what’s effectively a final warning after its pitch was given a “poor” rating by the ICC after the surface prepared for the third Test between South Africa and India produced dangerous, uneven bounce throughout the contest.
In the current series, the home side have refrained from interfering with the groundsman’s work and a typical bouncy Wanderers pitch is expected for this particular contest.