Cape Town - Proteas opener Dean Elgar needs just 44 runs against Zimbabwe in the Boxing Day Test to finish the year as Test cricket's highest run scorer.
India's Cheteshwar Pujara passed Elgar and moved to the top of the standings when he posted scores of 23 and 49 in the recently-completed third Test against Sri Lanka.
But, with India not playing Test cricket again this year, Elgar can make that record his own if he scores 44 runs or more against Zimbabwe.
Pujara is currently on 1 140 runs for 2017 while Elgar is on 1 097.
India's Virat Kohli is on 1 059 while Sri Lankan duo Dimuth Karunaratne (1 031) and Dinesh Chandimal (1 003) have also joined the '1 000-club' this year.
It has been a big year for Elgar who, in addition to his run-scoring, captained the Proteas for the first time in the first Test at Lord's.
In 20 innings in 2017, Elgar has scored five 100s and four 50s for an average of 54.85.
The last South African to finish a calendar year as Test cricket's highest run scorer was Graeme Smith in 2008.
The Proteas skipper scored a mammoth 1 656 runs that year with six 100s and six 50s at an average of 72.00.