JOHANNESBURG: After their thrilling series victory over Australia, former South Africa boss and captain Ali Bacher believes the current Proteas Test team is the nation’s best cricket team.

The Proteas made history with their 1-0 series win against Australia yesterday, becoming the first South African side to win two consecutive Test series against Australia on Australian soil and retaining top spot in the ICC Test Championship.

They further cemented their place in South Africa’s annals by being the only Test side to win two consecutive away-series against both England and Australia.

Coincidentally, their victorious tours to both countries were in 2008 and 2012.

“It is unprecedented in South African cricketing history that a team has won two consecutive tours in both Australia and England,” Bacher said.

“It is because of this that surely they must be considered the most successful South African cricket team of all time.”

Proteas captain Graeme Smith lauded his side after they held off a dominant Australian team in the first two matches and took control in the third.

“Looking back to the 1990s, we knew it's really hard to win in Australia, and this was no different,” Smith said in a television interview. “The guys showed a tremendous amount of character and ability in this series. Winning a series here takes a lot of effort, so to win two here means the world to us.”

Our own correspondent reports that for the second time in four years, the Proteas were able to celebrate the team’s victory song in the middle of the cricket ground where they had clinched a series triumph.

Four years ago, it was at an empty Melbourne Cricket Ground a few hours after they had clinched the three-Test series with their second victory. Although security guards ordered them to put out their victory cigars – it being a non-smoking area – their triumph was complete.

Last night a similar ceremony – minus the cigars – took place. The players, many of whom had enjoyed a celebratory beer or three, gathered in a victory huddle on the pitch at a deserted WACA ground in Perth to lustily sing their victory song. – Reuters and Own Correspondent