The Proteas are in control going into the third day of the first Test at Perth, but the first session will be crucial.
The South Africans have a lead of 102, with eight wickets in hand. Dean Elgar, on 46, and JP Duminy (34) are looking comfortable. But they need to build a solid base and pile on the runs. Someone has to score big.
It goes without saying that the Australians need Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle particularly, to prove their fitness for Test cricket after their various injuries by firing from the start.
A decent target to offer is vague. Both teams will be reminded that in December 2008, South Africa achieving the second-highest successful run-chase in Test history when they reached the victory target of 414 late in the second session on the final day, for the loss of just four wickets.
Whether Australia’s batting lineup has that sort of backbone could be put to the Test, and the memory of their first-innings collapse will not sit comfortably on a deteriorating wicket. The Proteas engineered a stunning comback to bowl out the hosts for 244 after they had put on an opening stand of 158.
The Proteas, however, need to allow for the fact they no longer have Dale Steyn in their bowling lineup.