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Proteas return to happy hunting ground

Cricket

South Africa could hardly have envisaged a better venue to start their three-Test series against Australia than the WACA.

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The ground only holds good memories for those tourists to have played there in 2008 and 2012, with the exception of Dean Elgar who recorded a pair four years ago.

Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Hashim Amla and JP Duminy were part of the XI that completed a record-breaking chase eight years ago in Perth.

The Proteas finished 4-414 to win that clash, laying the platform for their first Test series win in Australia.

Four years ago it was the scene of a resounding 309-run victory inside four days. Amla, Steyn, Morkel, Faf du Plessis and Vernon Philander helped ruin Ricky Ponting’s international swansong, which doubled as a series decider.

“To walk into a venue you feel comfortable with, it always feels exciting,” Steyn said.

“It’s not that feeling in the past when we came here and felt like we’d been daunted and had our tails between our legs.

“We’re actually coming here with some good history.

“Eight years ago we won here and a couple of years ago we won here again so it’s nice to come here and have that feeling that you’ve done well here before, regardless of the pitch.”

Steyn, who has found form and fitness after a shoulder injury, couldn’t care less if the WACA wicket returns to its glory years of pace and bounce.

“Whether it’s going to be flying through or hitting the ankle, it doesn’t really matter,” the 33-year-old said.

The spearhead, regarded as the best quick in the world by many judges, likewise wouldn’t be drawn on the prospect of his side opting for a four-prong pace attack.

“We will look at conditions, the history and the way we’ve played there,” he said.

“We’ve got a … big squad, so we’ve got options.”

-AAP

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