Cape Town - The Proteas will be looking to climb the ICC Test Team rankings as they get set to face Pakistan on Boxing Day in the first of three Tests.
The scenario in the Test rankings is interestingly poised with top-ranked India currently playing in Australia, New Zealand engaged in a series against Sri Lanka and now the Proteas getting set for a Boxing Day opening to their three Tests against Pakistan.
All three series have a bearing on the top five positions, with South Africa having the advantage of knowing what they can reap rewards in home conditions.
Currently placed third, South Africa have a chance to leapfrog England to second place but also face the danger of being overtaken by their rivals Pakistan and slipping to sixth place.
South Africa are two points behind England and a 2-0 win will take them to 108 points and above England on decimal points.
A 3-0 win will carry South Africa to 110 points, and to within one point of India, should India lose the remaining two matches to Australia. On the other hand, a 3-0 series loss will see South Africa drop to 99 points with Pakistan reaching 100 points.
India, who currently enjoy an eight-point lead over England, will end the series against Australia at 111 points with a 3-1 series loss but will go up to 118 points with a 3-1 series win.
In the other ongoing Test series, New Zealand, who had a chance to go up to 109 points and second place with a 2-0 series win, will now be looking to reach 107 points by winning the second match after the opening match ended in a draw.
Sri Lanka will be on 91 points in such a scenario but go up to 96 if they win the second Test. New Zealand will slip to 100 points if they lose.
The first Test between South Africa and Pakistan is scheduled to start at 10:00 on Wednesday in Centurion.
South Africa win 3-0: South Africa 110 points, Pakistan 88 points
South Africa win 2-0: South Africa 108, Pakistan 89
South Africa win 2-1 or 1-0: South Africa 107, Pakistan 91
Series drawn: South Africa 105, Pakistan 94
Pakistan win 3-0: South Africa 99, Pakistan 100
Pakistan win 2-0: South Africa 101, Pakistan 99
Pakistan win 2-1 or 1-0: South Africa 102, Pakistan 97