Cape Town - South African cricket fans can heave a sigh of a relief when the Proteas return to their screens, as they take on New Zealand in the first of two Tests starting at Kingsmead in Durban on Friday.
This two-match Test series is one that many SA fans and selectors will be very weary of as the Proteas will be without their reliable and star batsman, AB de Villiers.
De Villiers, along with paceman Morne Morkel, is out for supposedly six weeks due to injury, while Faf du Plessis will stand in as interim skipper.
The Kiwis come to Durban with a series whitewash against minnow Test nation Zimbabwe and will be looking to take the Proteas down at home.
But before toss takes place, we look at previous clashes and statistics between the two sides and see:
They have met on 40 occasions with SA winning 23 times and NZ only winning 4 times, yes four!
Other than limited overs cricket, the two teams haven’t played a Test series since 2013, when SA won the series comfortably 2-0 at home.
The Proteas have won 16 of their 23 games at home, losing 3 and drawing 4.
The Black Caps have lost the last 5 Tests that they’ve played in South Africa and have lost the last 3 by more than an innings.
South Africa have gone 11 consecutive games unbeaten against the Oceania team and are looking to go continue their streak.
Batting wise, Hashim Amla has scored 889 runs in the nine games played with an average of 80.81.
In the bowling attack, Dale Steyn will be looking to continue his previous dominance over the NZ batting line-up, as the speedster has taken a whopping 58 wickets in 10 matches.
Black Caps skipper, Kane Williamson has one of the best track records against the Proteas - in five games the he has made 272 runs with an unbeaten high score of 102.
Doug Bracewell is the best Kiwi paceman - the 25-year-old has taken 13 wickets from his five games.
At Kingsmead, the two nations have only played three times with the home side prevailing in all.
The second Test, which will start on August 27 in Centurion, has South Africa having a track record of winning two out of two matches.
New Zealand’s track record against South Africa doesn’t bode well at all, but considering the form the Proteas are in; we do not know how this Test series will eventually pan out.
Day 1 is scheduled to start at 10:00 on Friday.
New Zealand squad:
Kane Williamson (captain), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Luke Ronchi, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper)
South Africa squad:
Faf du Plessis (captain), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Stephen Cook, Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), JP Duminy, Dean Elgar, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Stiaan van Zyl