Hashim Amla believes both sides are equal, heading into the third Test between the Proteas and England at The Oval.
The Proteas are confident and will take winning momentum into their clash starting on Thursday. It is also the first time this series that the squad enter a match without on-field and off-field disruptions.
The return of both Russell Domingo and Kagiso Rabada for the third Test adds stability heading into the final two matches of the tour.
Amla is certain that both teams enter the match on equal terms, after two contrasting performances in the first two Tests.
‘We would have wanted to be 2-0 up, had we won the first Test,’ Amla said.
‘You can’t look too much into the win. They could come out playing a good game of Test cricket.
‘What’s important for us is that we don’t worry about them [England], it’s about what we do.
‘If we get runs on the board and bowl really well, hopefully, things will fall in our favour.
‘Any team that has won the last game will carry some sort of positivity and momentum with them.
‘We won the last game and we carry that with us. Having Russell [Domingo] and KG [Rabada] back makes us a settled team because everyone is here and available to play. That is good for us.’
It is almost five years ago when Amla scored a record-breaking triple century, a marathon 13-hour master class that inspired the Proteas to an innings and 12-run win in 2012.
The 34-year-old batsman humbly reflected on the moment by emphasising the memorable team win, instead of his achievement of hitting the highest Test score by a South African batsman.
‘I remember trying to bat as long as I can,’ he said of his innings.
‘The lasting memory was us bowling in the first day and England were in a good position.
‘The way we came back the next day to bowl them out for 380, that was the turning point in the game more than anything.
‘It got us back into the game to end up winning that match. The fight we showed, that is my lasting memory of this venue.’
The Oval will be the fourth ground to house 100 Tests after Lord’s, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), and Amla praised the legendary cricket ground.
‘It is probably in the top three or four venues in the world,’ he said of The Oval.
‘I really enjoy it here, especially when the sun is out and I don’t have to have hand-warmers in my pocket. It is one of the best venues in the world.
‘Five years ago, it was a happy memory, it would be great for us to win again.
‘I have been back here a few times over the years playing for Surrey. It’s a lovely venue, every venue in England has a different flavour to it, and playing at The Oval has a nice accommodating feel for everybody.
‘The crowd comes in and it’s a great atmosphere.’
The third Test will start on Thursday 27 July.
Standard Bank Proteas Test squad: Faf du Plessis (Titans, capt), Hashim Amla (Cape Cobras), Temba Bavuma (Cape Cobras), Theunis de Bruyn (Knights), Quinton de Kock (Titans), Dean Elgar (Titans), Heino Kuhn (Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Titans), Morne Morkel (Titans), Chris Morris (Titans), Duanne Olivier (Knights), Andile Phehlukwayo (Dolphins), Vernon Philander (Cape Cobras), Kagiso Rabada (Highveld Lions).