South Africa have never won a home Test series against Australia, the last one in 2013-14 ending with Ryan Harris sealing a last-gasp win for the visitors in Cape Town © Getty Images
South Africa will host Australia in March-April 2018 for the first four-Test series between the two countries since readmission. The tour comes at the conclusion of a 2017-18 home season that is set to be South Africa’s busiest, including at least ten Tests.
The Tests will take place in Durban, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Johannesburg, venues that have all hosted Australia before. There is a nine day gap between the second and third Tests, and the final Test, at the Wanderers, takes place over Easter weekend.
Australia’s last tour to South Africa was in 2013-14 when Australia won the series 2-1 and Graeme Smith retired from international cricket. The teams have since met in ODIs in South Africa in 2015 and Tests in Australia in 2016-17. Although South Africa have won their last three series in Australia, they have never beaten them in a series at home and there’s a further incentive for them to do so, as the No.1 ranking could be on the line.
“Test match cricket between Australia and South Africa has always produced epic battles and brought out high-class individual performances that have become part of the annals of the game. Australia are currently the No. 2 ranked team on the ICC Test table and we will need to beat them and India to regain our place at the top of the table,” Haroon Lorgat, the CSA CEO, said. “With this series being played straight after the tour by India our Proteas and fans can look forward to what will be one of the most challenging seasons of Test match cricket we have ever witnessed in South Africa.”
Before Australia tour, South Africa will host Bangladesh for two Tests, in Bloemfontein and Potchefstroom, and India for four, although the dates and venues have yet to be announced. It is understood that South Africa are hopeful India will agree to tour over the festive period in December-January.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo