The South African cricketers will look to their pace attack to take charge of the series when the first Test against Australia starts in Perth this afternoon.
The tourists have Dale Steyn, the highest-ranked seamer in the world ratings, fit again to lead their formidable four-pronged pace attack.
Australia are without their top bowler Stuart Clark and have called up the inexperienced Peter Siddle as cover.
South Africa could replace Australia as world number one team if they win 3-nil.
However, they have never won a Test series in Australia and could be overtaken in second place by India.
Skipper Graeme Smith has dismissed suggestions that there are mental scars left from previous series against Australia, when Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne often proved the difference.
The hosts are expected to hand spinner Jason Krejza a home Test debut while South Africa could play Paul Harris.