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Australia totally destroyed any semblance of fading respectability that the once almighty West Indies demanded and are ready for taking on South Africa.

The Aussies’ demolition job of the woeful Windies in preparation for their highly anticipated three-Test battle with the Proteas raised a few eyebrows.

The Caribbean side were on an unbeaten run of five Tests before they were annihilated at Perth, and the injury-ravaged tourists were swept aside to suffer a whopping 419-run defeat at Adelaide.

South Africa are in a different league for the current no.1 Test team, with fans excited by a mouth-watering trio of clashes along the east coast.

The showcase of the series will be the traditional Boxing Day Test at the iconic MCG in Melbourne, which is sandwiched between a pair of matches at the Gabba in Brisbane and the grand finale at the SCG in Sydney.

Fans should be in for a real battle of attrition for hotly-contested games, where bowling prowess is at a premium and the home batsmen have been explosive.

Australia may have waltzed past the Windies, although arguably it has been the worst ever Caribbean Test team to visit Australian shores. This recent and unexpected feast of runs and capturing wickets with such aplomb has the Aussies brimming with confidence to take on South Africa.

With the inaugural Test of this series taking place on 17 December, just five days after Australia’s emphatic triumph over the West Indies, the hosts will be eager to maintain their winning momentum.

Brisbane’s 42,000-seater Gabba gets the ball rolling for the first Test meeting between the sides for four years. The sandpaper scandal during the Aussies’ tour of South Africa, which they lost 3-1 in 2018, is best forgotten.

Last time that South Africa competed on Australian soil in a Test series was six years ago. The hosts were embarrassed after they were whittled out for a lowly 85 on a green wicket at Hobart. That shock resulted in a major shake-up, with some usually reliable players shelved. However, this action by the selectors proved too late to salvage the series with South Africa winning 2-1.

This time the Aussies are highly unlikely to be outplayed by the tourists. Following the Brisbane battle, the teams travel south to Melbourne and will wrap things up for the third and final Test at Sydney.

Both nations boast remarkable quality and depth to their respective bowling attack. Yet it is Australia’s vastly superior batting line-up that has seen bookmakers favour the hosts. For those who want to bet on the hosts then it is worth checking out the Palmerbet bonus, although they should not forget that South Africa last lost a Test series to the Aussies in 2014.

Especially as South Africa’s form with the bat has been shockingly poor. They have only hit six centuries from their past 19 Tests, and in this year’s 2-1 series defeat to England were bowled out for under 200 four times. The Proteas will be boosted by the return of Rassie van der Dussen, following his finger injury on the England tour.

In contrast the Australian batsmen are on fire with Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith.

Labuschagne, who passed the 3,000 Test run mark in his 51st innings, couldn’t stop scoring against the Windies and will arguably be the wicket that the tourists will be after as priority. His recent knocks elevated him to joint second-fastest, alongside West Indies’ Everton Weekes, into the record books behind Don Bradman.

Touring skipper Dean Elgar must appreciate that their only real strength is through their bowlers. Kagiso Rabada is the only remaining pacer who was part of South Africa’s tour of Australia in 2016, when he bagged 15 wickets in six innings.

Elgar has the added talents of Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje and Lizaad Williams. They all possess the ability to change the outcome of a match single-handedly.

This trio of Tests, part of the 2021–2023 ICC World Test Championship, is Australia’s opportunity to cement themselves as the best in the world, ahead of their tours to India followed by six games in England that includes the highly-competitive Ashes showdown against their bitter rivals.

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