As they face the daunting challenge of taking on Australia in a Test match for the first time, South Africa will step onto the iconic WACA Ground famous for its fast bowling.
Experienced seamer Megan Shutt has been included in the squad, but a return to Test cricket looks unlikely with a dry surface expected amid sweltering heat during the match.
There is an additional layer of uncertainty on the surface that will be used to match the test. Located in the middle of the ground, the field has not been used this season due to turf growth being affected by Australian rules football – which is played in the WACA during the winter months.
All these factors meant that South Africa used some of their limited preparation – with no time available for a practice match – to devise ways to rein in the Australian spinners.
Armed with impressive young seamers, including De Klerk who has bowled well in the T20I and ODI series, South Africa still expect pace to make an impact during this contest as they play only their second Test match in a decade.
“The WACA is known for being very fast and bouncy,” De Klerk said. “I think that’s what we’ll expect. And I assume there will be some contact movement.”
“It’s going to be a big challenge for us. It’s obviously uncharted territory for us. We haven’t encountered a lot of it.” [Test cricket]But we are looking forward to facing them and it will be a big challenge for us as a team.”
Australia have good options at seam and spin as they look to clinch the series outright after taking an 8-4 lead after the white-ball matches.
“We have great players in our squad and great options. That’s traditionally been the case this year [the WACA] It was a tough wicket to bat on.”
After impressing at number four in the shorter formats, Mooney is set to return to the top of the standings alongside Phoebe Litchfield.
“Really excited about the challenge and working through an interesting wicket,” she said. “I feel like if I do well on Thursday, hopefully I can contribute to the success.”