The above attached video, #ProteaFire, starts with a question, Will this team show us the fight they are known for? It further captures the tensed and agitated faces of South Africa‘s regular One-Day International (ODI) and Test skipper, AB de Villiers and his troops. Former South African player Brett Proctor doubts this side stating, There is something missing from this team . De Villiers is then seen gathering his teammates as he reminds them about their purpose as a unit, why and for whom are they wearing their jerseys. The video further encapsulates the struggles of the core members of South African team and the extra yards they took in representing their country. It clearly indicates that even if they are regarded as chokers , they have the will to fight from any situation. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs South Africa, 1st Test at Perth

This 3-minute long video was an advertisement of South African team s culture and they displayed it to the fullest in the opening game of the three-Test series against Australia at Perth. With a session and a half to spare on Day Five, South Africa have taken the honours at WACA stadium with a 1-0 lead in the series. The whole Test was a test of South Africa s temperament and character as they were down and out on Day One with some key players missing. But like mentioned in the video, they had the stamina to bounce back.

Day One: Winning the toss, stand-in skipper, Faf du Plessis (in place of de Villiers) elected to bat. The pace and bounce on the track was evident with Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Peter Siddle operating from the opposite end. South Africa lost plot since the beginning and were reeling at 81 for 5. Embarking on their first experience of playing in whites Down Under, Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma started the visitors onslaught. The young pair showed willingness to stay in the middle, ran hard between wickets and hammered the balls to the fence which demanded to be hit.

In no time did the pair add 71 runs for the sixth wicket before Bavuma fell for 51. His vital innings was deprived of a three figure mark but he showed his hunger for runs. The short-heighted cricketer took the deliveries on his ribcage without dwelling much, played some crackling shots and applied himself at the 22-yard. After he fell, de Kock roared from the other end. The southpaw played the rising deliveries with ease, counter attacked when needed and took the team total to 242, courtesy his 84 off 101 balls.

Australia added miseries to South Africa s so-called fight back and ended day at 105 for no loss. By no means 242 was a challenging ask for a fiery batting line-up of Australia but the Protea fire was still burning inside every South African player.

Day Two: David Warner has a habit of scoring heavily especially in the opening Tests at home, irrespective of the opponents. He looked nonchalant against the short-pitched balls, played risky shots, drove and cut well to take himself to 97 before lunch. Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander, had gone overboard by repeatedly bowling short to Warner and Shaun Marsh as they continued to pile on runs. Only Kagiso Rabada bowled in tight lines but remained wicketless as Australia reached 158 for 0. Just when Mark Nicholas, in the commentary box, was reminding the viewers that Warner has never been a victim of the nervous nineties (in Tests), Warner edged one to the slips to give Steyn and South Africa their first breakthrough.

The drama was at its peak as South Africa lost Steyn with his shoulder injury cropping up again which ruled him out of the match. By then, Steyn had removed the dangerous Warner for 97 but there was a lot to be done. Defending 242, others had to step up to stop Australia s resurgence. South Africa already knew they were without de Villiers before a ball was bowled in the match and losing Steyn only added to their woes.

But it is situations like these which test the unity and togetherness of a side and South Africa were ready to not give up. Philander, being the senior most after Steyn, took charge of proceedings and bowled his heart out after second session. He created chances from his end while Rabada got bounce, reverse swung (including an in-swinger to dismiss Usman Khawaja) and debutant Keshav Maharaj showed courage to entice batsmen by tossing up the ball and derailing their concentration.

Du Plessis marshaled his resources well as Australia s lead was limited to only two runs. The fire was evident inside the South Africans as they did not let Australia get off the hook. Coming out to bat in the second innings, South Africa ended day at 45 for 2 making the match evenly poised. After stumps, a statement came out from Philander that they wanted to win this test for Steyn. The unfortunate news had arrived that Steyn was out of the match and maybe ruled out for long. Philander s comment did not get enough weightage but it was enough to state the mindset of Proteas.

Day Three: JP Duminy is an asset in shorter formats but the longer format still evaded him from much glory. Nonetheless, he took this Test to stage a remarkable comeback for his side along with relatively inexperienced Dean Elgar. Day Three belonged to these two centurions as they added 250 runs for the third wicket and took South Africa to a winning position. The duo batted for two long sessions with a cautious approach. They played each ball to its merit, showed awareness, and resisted from edging the deliveries outside off. There were no half-hearted shots by Duminy-Elgar as they made full use of the batting friendly track despite having pace and bounce.

The visitors lost a few wickets in the end as Australian bowlers toiled hard and were rewarded for their patience but the writing was on the wall. South Africa were 390 for 6 at stumps, lead standing at 388.

Day Four: If Day One was about not getting bogged down, Day Two exhibited South Africa s frustration to fight on after Steyn s departure. Day Three included patience and resilience of Duminy-Elgar to slowly put Australians on the mat. Day Four displayed de Kock and Philander s outburst to give a daunting target to Australia. South Africa were beaming in confidence courtesy their hard work and fighting spirit as Australia came out to bat in the decisive innings chasing 539.

Warner and Marsh started in a flash but Warner s dismissal indicated South Africa s body language. In a bid to sneak a quick single, Warner tapped a delivery off Rabada and ran hard but did not expect Bavuma to pull off a screamer. Fielding at point, Bavuma reacted in 0.264 seconds and pulled off a leaping run out to send Warner back. This summed up the story of the match as Australia (here in form of Warner) tried hard but South Africa (here represented by Bavuma) showed exemplary fighting skills and match awareness to come on top.

Australia ended Day Four at 169 for 4 as a demeaning defeat looked on cards from the onset.

Day Five: There was no doubt in anyone s mind that South Africa will pull off a dramatic win on the final day. If it was Philander who created chances, struck at vital ends along with good support from others in first innings, Rabada was exceptional in second innings. In the last session of Day Four, he pitched everything outside off, did not give a chance to be hit and made the batsmen play at him. He was essentially rewarded with three scalps and added two more to his kitty to give his side a 177-run win and their third triumph overall at WACA. The only respectable scores from Australia came in form of Khawaja’s 97 and Peter Nevill’s unbeaten 60.

South Africa displayed immense temprament and fought fire with fire to win 1st Test vs Australia at Perth    Getty Images
South Africa displayed immense temperament and fought fire with fire to win 1st Test vs Australia at Perth Getty Images

Australia did try to delay the inevitable but could not. They were thrashed by a better team who played with a purpose, rose from several jolts, lost a key player and more importantly, let the fire inside them to burn till the very last ball. A new-look South African side, led by a stand-in skipper, stuck to the #ProteaFire as they did not run away from problems, played with courage and showed the will to fight.

Who would have expected South Africa, the chokers , to not choke after where they were on Day One and stage such a comeback. Well, this is the beauty of the purest format of the game. In the end, this match not only served South Africa s purpose to play the game but also gave a fitting reply to those empty stands Test cricket has witnessed in recent times.

(Aditya Sahay is a journalist with CricketCountry who is completely into sports and loves writing about cricket in general. He can be followed on Twitter at adisahay7)