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Morkel fit, Sth Africa yet to settle on XI

AAP logoAAP 2/11/2016 Rob Forsaith

Stand-in skipper Faf du Plessis has reached out to Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers as he seeks to extend South Africa's impressive recent record in Australia.

Most sides approach Test tours of Australia with a degree of trepidation but the same can't be said of the Proteas' current squad.

Not one player in the 16-man touring party has lost a Test series in Australia.

Smith captained the Proteas to their first Test series win in Australia in 2008, then returned to deliver a 1-0 series victory in 2012.

Captain De Villiers, who is sidelined with an elbow injury, was also part of both tours.

"There's a lot of valuable info in these two cricket brains," du Plessis said.

"The most important thing for me as a leader is to put your ego aside and try and ask and learn as much as you can, because there's a lot of valuable information out there.

"I've spoken to AB. He's enjoying life in South Africa but he misses us.

"I'm supposed to speak to Graeme a bit later, just to try to get some ideas of how he did things when he was over here because he was a very-successful captain. I'm looking forward to that conversation."

The Proteas have won their past two Tests at the WACA and du Plessis suggests that record will be in the back of his teammates' minds on Thursday.

"I assume that it helps. Confidence plays a huge role in cricket. When you come up against good teams like Australia, you need everything," he said.

"My first thought walking into Perth was of winning four years ago. You'd rather have good memories than bad memories."

Regarding the hot topic of sledging, du Plessis tipped things "might get loud out there" but that both sides were more likely to let their cricket do the talking.

"If it goes away from that, I don't know how that's going to have an effect in the series. That's certainly not the style or the personalities we have in the two teams," he said.

Du Plessis was unwilling to reveal whether one of their uncapped tweakers, Keshav Maharaj or Tabraiz Shamsi, would debut.

The Proteas are weighing up whether to unleash a four-pronged pace attack, with Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander all boasting strong selection claims.

"The wicket ... looked like it was a bit harder today. The previous three days, it was quite soft and green still," du Plessis said.

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