Skipper Michael Clarke wants Australia’s batsmen to blunt the vaunted South African pace attack by waging a war of attrition while South African captain Graeme Smith wants to keep the anniversary of Australia’s humiliating capitulation for 47 fresh in the minds of the home side at the opening Brisbane Test on Friday.

Clarke, who has still to decide on his own bowling attack, wants batsmen to occupy the crease for long periods to test the physical endurance of Steyn, and Philander. “It’s certainly the hardest time to bat against the bowler’s first spell,” Clarke told a Test-eve press conference in Brisbane on Thursday. “The longer they are out in the field the heavier their legs become so as a batting group we’re really keen to spend as much time out in the middle as possible. “They have only four fast bowlers in their touring party and if we can make them spend as much time in the field as possible, hopefully that we will put us in good stead for the next two Tests.”

For the Proteas, it will be almost 12 months to the day when they skittled the Australians for their lowest total against South Africa at Newlands on the way to a crushing eight-wicket win.

“To have Australia 21 for 9 is something that’s quite hard to fathom today… …Our goal is to have our fast bowlers to expose their top order quickly… ” “The thing is, you can bowl the speed of light, but how effective can you be. That’s the key,” Smith said of Steyn. “Dale has proven that he can be both. Hopefully he’ll show that in this Test match.AFP