Steven Smith © Getty Images
Steven Smith © Getty Images

The last time South Africa and Australia clashed for three-match Test series back in 2016, Faf du Plessis was caught in the infamous ‘mintgate’ incident. Du Plessis had to face the wrath of Australian media before he announced himself in the Adelaide Test with a century. This time around as well, fireworks between the two sides can be expected. And Steven Smith is prepared for the verbal war.

When England had passed on some verbal volley to Smith, the skipper went on to become the highest run-scorer in the series with tally of 687 runs that included his career-best 239. He shut England not just with his willow but guided Australia to regain the urn.

In the pre-match conference, Smith said he is looking forward to some verbal chatter as that helps him to get his best game forward.

Of sledges and tough contest: “I might be able to tell you more after the first Test match, but if they do, go for it, it doesn’t bother me. A bit of a verbal challenge actually makes me switch on a bit more and gets me in for the fight. So they can go for their lives. I don’t really like to think too much about what gets them going. I prefer to think about what gets either myself or us going, and if that’s getting into a contest like that, then go for it.”

The first Test between South Africa and Australia will be held at Kingsmead in Durban.