Best combined XI: SA v Australia

After dominating the opening two Tests, South Africans occupy the majority of this joint team

David Warner

Matches: 3 | Runs: 236 | Average: 39.33 | HS: 97

Warner started the series off with a rapid 97 in Perth but failed to kick on in the rest of the series. His aggression at the top of the order puts the opposition attack on notice from the get go, but it can also be his downfall as seen in the first innings in Hobart. The 30-year-old is a match for any bowling group in the world and always appears one innings away from a big century.

Perth: Warner goes for wonderful 97

Mr Cricket says: “He’s such a gun player to open the batting because he gets the team off to a positive, attacking start. I think he was brilliant in the field all series, charging everything down and loads of energy in the field.

Dean Elgar

Matches: 3 | Runs: 161 | Average: 32.20 | HS: 127

Having scored a pair in his last visit to Perth, Elgar produced a match-winning century in the second innings of the first Test at the WACA Ground. The left-hander countered Australia’s fearsome pace attack, and while his numbers dropped off after Perth, he remained a constant at the top of the order for the Proteas. A sharp catcher, Elgar was sublime in the slips for South Africa.

Elgar makes Aussies sweat in Perth heat

Mr Cricket says: “It’s the best I’ve seen Dean Elgar play. His defence looked really solid and he played with a lot of confidence, grit and determination throughout the series.”

Usman Khawaja

Matches: 3 | Runs: 314 | Average: 52.33 | HS: 145

Mr Consistent for Australia. Recalled into the Test XI after being dropped in Sri Lanka, Khawaja finished the series as the leading run-scorer. The elegant left-hander put together scores of 4, 97, 4, 64, 145 and 0, with the first two failures due to some excellent bowling. A coming-of-age century in Adelaide has secured his spot in Australia’s Test outfit for some time.

Khawaja fires for Australia in Adelaide

Mr Cricket says: “Showed his class again. Contributed in every Test match. He’s got a great temperament and technique to do very well in Test cricket and showed just how important he is to the Australian Test team.”

JP Duminy

Matches: 3 | Runs: 184 | Average: 36.80 | HS: 141

Having debuted in Australia eight years ago in spectacular fashion, Duminy delivered once again with a majestic century in Perth to bury the hosts. His 250-run stand with Elgar put the game out of reach for the Australians and set up a stirring win in the west. Duminy’s part-time off-spin picked up three wickets and he now looks set to be an established, senior member of the Proteas Test XI.

Perth: Duminy delivers century for Proteas

Mr Cricket says: “Class player. I really enjoyed his century in Perth. His cover driving was as good as I’ve seen in a long time. Another very good series from JP in Australia.”

Faf du Plessis

Matches: 3 | Runs: 206 | Average: 51.50 | HS: 118no

After what he’s done this series, it’s hard to imagine anybody else captaining the South Africa, even a player as divine as AB de Villiers. Led his men from the front with and with chaos surrounding him in the lead-up and during the final Test, du Plessis scored his best Test match century.

Adelaide: Sweet success as du Plessis mints a century

Mr Cricket says: “He captained his team really well. Faf scored a brilliant hundred in Adelaide under immense pressure after the week he had leading up. He’s been inspirational the whole series.”

Temba Bavuma

Matches: 3 | Runs: 162 | Average: 32.24 | HS: 74

Despite his diminutive stature, Bavuma was something of a giant this series. He was undaunted facing Australia’s towering pace attack, certifying his place in the Proteas middle order with two crucial half-centuries in Perth and Hobart. While his batting was impressive, Bavuma’s work in the field was extraordinary. The run-out of Warner in the first Test has to be seen to be believed.

Perth: Bavuma brilliance catches Warner short

Mr Cricket says: “He showed a lot of poise under pressure and played a few calm innings in difficult situations. He’s shown he’s definitely good enough to succeed at the highest level. And let’s not forget his work on the field. Simply outstanding.”

Quinton de Kock

Matches: 3 | Runs: 281 | Average: 56.20 | HS: 104

A stunning series that brought comparisons to the immortal Adam Gilchrist. At just 23, de Kock is at the forefront of a record-breaking career as a Test wicketkeeper-batsman. On a Hobart pitch that was doing plenty, the left-hander produced the innings of the series to give the Proteas a match-winning lead, and took a series of sublime catches to top it off.

Hobart: De Kock shines with second Test ton

Mr Cricket says: “A brilliant series. Quinton can change the game with the bat coming in at No.7 when the game is in the balance. He scores so quickly as a very positive and aggressive player. His glovework has been outstanding with a few awesome catches behind the stumps.”

Vernon Philander

Matches: 3 | Wickets: 12 | Average: 23.58 | BB: 5-21

In the absence of spearhead Dale Steyn, Philander stepped up and delivered the knockout blow. His 4-56 in Perth was stoic while his destructive 5-21 in Hobart sealed the series for the Proteas. When the pitch is green the skies overcast there is no better fast bowler in the world.

Hobart: Philander fires his way to five-fer

Mr Cricket says: “Vernon used the favourable conditions really well. He’s not express but he gets the ball in the right areas and challenges batsmen regularly. If there’s any movement on offer he’ll find it and he’s challenging a batsman’s defence all the time.

Josh Hazlewood

Matches: 3 | Wickets: 17 | Average: 22.05 | BB: 6-89

Comfortably Australia’s best bowler in the series, Hazlewood was relentless with his testing line and length. Much has been made about his resting of the preceding South Africa ODI tour, but with a solid build up it’s no surprise the right-armer was Australia’s finest.

Hobart: Hazlewood bags six to give Australia hope

Mr Cricket says: “He’s been Australia’s best and most consistent bowler. Love his competitiveness. His battle with Hashim Amla and getting him out in every innings this series kept Australia in the contest for much of the series.”

Kyle Abbott

Matches: 2 | Wickets: 13 | Average: 14.84 | BB: 6-77

The fourth seamer in a three-seamer attack, Abbott was perhaps the pick of the fast bowlers in the series. The 29-year-old ransacked the Australia batting order in Hobart to inflict a seismic collapse, and was at times unplayable in the day-night Test in Adelaide.

Kyle Abbott claims a super six in Hobart

Mr Cricket says: “He’s underrated around the world. He’s a very skilful bowler. He bowled very well to Australia’s left-handers in particular. He showed a lot of skill and energy and kept running in all the time. Kyle formed a terrific partnership with Philander and never let the Aussie batsmen off easy.”

Kagiso Rabada

Matches: 3 | Wickets: 15 | Average: 22.40 | BB: 5-92

Fast, fiery and fearsome, Rabada covered himself in glory on his maiden Test tour of Australia. Deceptively quick off a short run-up, the 21-year-old bowled South Africa to victory in Perth before contributing to the demolition job in Hobart.

Rabada's five ignites Proteas

Mr Cricket says: “What a talent. A skilful bowler and a great athlete. He can move the ball both ways and charges in all day. One of the greats of the future.”

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