3 Nov 2016

SA confident ahead of first Australia Test

6:30 am on 3 November 2016

Stand-in South African captain Faf du Plessis says his team is full of confidence heading into their first Test on their tour of Australia in Perth today.

Most sides approach Test tours of Australia with a degree of trepidation, but the same can't be said of the Proteas' current squad.

Not one player in the 16-man touring party has lost a Test series in Australia.

Stand-in South Africa captain Faf du Plessis

South African batsman Faf du Plessis Photo: Photosport

Du Plessis has spoken to former captain Graeme Smith and the sidelined AB de Villiers about their winning experiences as he seeks to extend South Africa's impressive recent record in Australia.

Smith captained the Proteas to their first Test series win in Australia in 2008, then returned to deliver a 1-0 series victory in 2012.

Captain De Villiers, who is sidelined with an elbow injury, was also part of both tours.

Du Plessis says their experiences are important to gaining further success in Australia,

"There's a lot of valuable info in these two cricket brains," du Plessis said.

Faf du Plessis plays a shot during 2014 Test against Australia

Faf du Plessis plays a shot during 2014 Test against Australia Photo: Photosport

"The most important thing for me as a leader is to put your ego aside and try and ask and learn as much as you can, because there's a lot of valuable information out there.

The Proteas have won their past two Tests at the WACA and du Plessis suggests that record will be in the back of his teammates' minds on Thursday.

"I assume that it helps. Confidence plays a huge role in cricket. When you come up against good teams like Australia, you need everything," he said.

"My first thought walking into Perth was of winning four years ago. You'd rather have good memories than bad memories."

Du Plessis has declined to follow his Australia counterpart Steve Smith by naming his side on Wednesday, leaving the hosts to guess whether they would play a spinner or not.

But experienced quick Morne Morkel has been declared fit as the tourists ponder unleashing a four-strong pace attack at the WACA.

Morne Morkel

Morne Morkel Photo: Photosport

Dale Steyn is certain to spearhead the pace attack with Vernon Philander and exciting youngster Kagiso Rabada likely to support him with the potential fourth spot going to Kyle Abbott or Morkel.

In the Australian squad, Peter Siddle edged Joe Mennie to claim the final spot in Australia's eleven.

Du Plessis said they planned to bat for as long as possible to wear down Siddle and fellow quick Mitchell Starc.

Regarding the hot topic of sledging, du Plessis tipped things "might get loud out there" but that both sides were more likely to let their cricket do the talking.

The Test gets underway at 3.30pm (NZ Time).

- AAP, Reuters, RNZ