Manchester - Aaron Finch believes that Australians and South Africans are similar when it comes to their passion for sport.

The Aussie skipper was addressing media at Old Trafford in Manchester ahead of his side's World Cup clash against the Proteas on Saturday. 

It is a match that Australia must win if they are to cement top spot on the World Cup log and secure a semi-final against New Zealand, while it means nothing for the Proteas in terms of their own future at the tournament. 

It may be a dead-rubber from a South African point of view, but fixtures between these two nations will always mean something. 

That is the nature of the rivalry between the countries, regardless of the sport.

Saturday's match will also be the first time that Steve Smith and David Warner have faced South Africa since the third Test at Newlands last year, when both were implicated in the infamous ball-tampering scandal that rocked world cricket. 

Both players were banned for a year each, but they returned in time for the World Cup and have given the Australian side exactly the injection of quality it needed going into the competition. 

Their reunion with the Proteas has been one of the main talking points in the build-up to Saturday's game, but Finch believes that the match will be played in the right competitive spirit.

"The spirit in which the World Cup has been played has been unbelievable," he said.

"The sportsmanship, the camaraderie amongst the teams has been outstanding.

"I think Australians and South Africans are quite similar in a lot of ways. They are very competitive people, passionate about the game and they try hard as they can to win games for their country.

"I think that's where the rivalry comes from.

"There have been a lot of great Test matches, close Test matches, a lot of great historic one-day matches as well, so I think that's where it all stems from."

Finch added that the ball-tampering issue would not have an impact on proceedings. 

"I think everyone's moved on," he said.

Play on Saturday starts at 14:30 (SA time). 

@LloydBurnard is in England covering the 2019 Cricket World Cup for Sport24 ...