Cape Town - South African cricket fans will be delighted to see the Proteas back in action on home soil when they take on Sri Lanka in the first of three Tests, starting at St. George's Park in Port Elizabeth on Monday.
However, the Proteas will be without their power trio of AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn and Morné Morkel, who have all sustained - and are recovering from - various injuries.
Faf du Plessis will lead the Proteas for the first time as permanent Test skipper after the resignation of De Villiers earlier this month.
The in-form Proteas come off a historic 2-1 series victory in Australia, while the Sri Lankans come head to the Windy City after a Test series whitewash over Zimbabwe.
Du Plessis' charges head into the Test series as favourites, but their opponents will look to silence the home fans.
A look at previous clashes and statistics between the two sides:
- The teams have faced off against each other on 22 previous occasions, with South Africa winning 11 Tests, losing five, while six have been drawn.
- Sri Lanka have played 10 Tests in SA with the Proteas winning on eight occasions, while Sri Lanka emerged victorious on a single occasion. The other Test was drawn.
- The two teams haven't played a Test series since 2014, when SA won the series 1-0 in Sri Lanka.
- The last time the sides faced each other in South Africa was in 2012 - when SA won the series 2-1.
- Sri Lanka has only won one Test in South Africa to date - in 2011 at Kingsmead by 208 runs.
- The Proteas has beaten Sri Lanka at home by an innings on four occasions - the latest being by an innings and 81 runs at Centurion in 2011.
- Sri Lanka have never played a Test match at St. George's Park, but have played - and lost - all three of their Tests at Newlands (scene of the second New Year's Test). The third Test takes place at the Wanderers, where they have played and lost their only Test.
- Seven South African squad members could play Sri Lanka for the first time. They are Stephen Cook, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Wayne Parnell, Kyle Abbott, Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj.
- Only three Sri Lankan players have travelled to South Africa prior to this tour. They are Angelo Mathews, Rangana Herath and Dinesh Chandimal.
- Batting-wise for the Proteas, Hashim Amla has made 405 runs against the islanders in seven Tests at an average of 36.81.
- In the bowling attack, Vernon Philander is the only bowler (other than JP Duminy) to have taken aim at Sri Lanka's batsmen - taking 18 wickets in four Tests.
- For Sri Lanka, batting-wise, skipper Mathews has scored 382 runs against SA's bowling attack in five matches.
- In the bowling line-up for the tourists, left-arm spinner Herath has taken 25 South African scalps in six Tests.
- Herath is the highest ranked bowler in the series from either side. He currently stands third in the latest ICC rankings.
- Amla is the highest ranked batsman in the series, as he sits in fifth position in the rankings.
- Quinton de Kock is 147 runs away from the 1 000 Test run milestone and is two catches away from 50.
- Rabada is six wickets away from 50 Test wickets, while Philander is eight wickets away from 150 Test scalps.
- Wicketkeeper-batsman Kaushal Silva needs 126 runs to reach the 2 000 run-milestone.
- South Africa are fourth in the ICC Test rankings, while Sri Lanka are seventh, above only the West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
- Day 1 is scheduled in to start in Port Elizabeth at 10:00 on Monday, December 26.
Angelo Mathews (captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Dushmantha Chameera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Nuwan Pradeep, Vikum Sanjaya Bandara, Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera
Faf du Plessis (captain), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Stephen Cook, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada