Australia will be hoping to continue on from their Ashes success in the first Test against South Africa at Centurion on Wednesday - but the hosts will start as favourites to win the three-match series.
The tourists go into the match off the back of a 5-0 whitewash of England on home soil but skipper Michael Clarke knows that his troops will find life much tougher on their travels.
The Proteas are currently ranked as the top team in the Test arena, by some distance, too, yet they have surprisingly never beaten Australia on home soil since their readmission to the Test arena.
"That's the challenge you want as a player, you want to be playing against the best to see how you measure up individually and as a team," Clarke said.
"It's a great challenge, test and opportunity for an Australian team who are high on confidence at the moment through the success we had during the Australian summer."
Australia's preparations for the opening Test have not only been hampered by wet weather - their solitary warm-up match against South African opposition was washed out - but also by the loss of all-rounder Shane Watson, who played such a key role in the demolition of England.
With George Bailey dropped after struggling for runs in the Ashes, Alex Doolan, Shaun Marsh and Phillip Hughes are battling it out for two places in the top six.
Whoever gets the chance to play will go up against a South African seam attack that is both varied and potent, even with Jacques Kallis no longer around.
It is spearheaded by the pace of Dale Steyn, with the beanpole Morne Morkel offering extra bounce and Vernon Philander a master of manipulating anything out of a pitch with his nagging line and length.
Australia are not short of strike options themselves with the ball; Mitchell Johnson has previously enjoyed himself on South African soil and was back to his devastating best in the Ashes. Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle also played pivotal roles against England, so runs could be in short supply.
"Both teams are going to have to bat well because there are two very good bowling attacks," Clarke admitted.
"It's going to be a challenge for batters. Wickets (in South Africa) have been conducive to fast bowling in the past, which makes it a little bit tougher."
Opposite number Graeme Smith knows his side will be expected to win heading into the game at SuperSport Park on Wednesday. The last time the Australians played a Test at the venue they lost by eight wickets back in 1997.
"If you are the number one team in the world you have to be favourites," Smith said after his squad had gone through their final practice session.
"It's something we have become accustomed to and we feel very comfortable with it. We've been number one for a period of time and we've travelled to some tough places to get it and to defend it."
The hosts begin life without the now-retired Kallis knowing it is impossible to find one man capable of filling the great all-rounder's shoes.
Faf du Plessis will move up to bat at number four in the order, while either Wayne Parnell or Ryan McLaren look likely to be drafted in to make it four frontline seamers in the home XI.
Who will win the first Test?