The recent history between the two teams has been filled with acrimony; from Du Plessis being caught sucking a mint sweet in the second Test in Hobart in 2016, to the Kingsmead stairwell incident earlier this year, followed by the shoulder “barge” between Kagiso Rabada and Steve Smith, and then most dramatically the ball-tampering affair at Newlands in the third Test.
Asked what kind of reception he was expecting when the team land in Sydney today, Du Plessis, pictured, replied: “Nice and hostile.”
The last Test series between the two teams played in SA earlier this year was more akin to a soap opera than a cricket series with memories of the Proteas tour to Australia two years ago still fresh. Du Plessis endured the “mintgate” saga after Australian TV caught him sucking on a sweet and shining the ball in the second Test of that series which led to a bizarre incident at Adelaide airport where Wadee pushed a local TV reporter who was trying to shove his microphone into the faces of the SA players.
Du Plessis is aware that his team will arguably be more closely monitored by the Australian media over the next three weeks than at any time previously.