In what has been a see-saw ODI series so far, Australia pulled 2-1 ahead with victory in the 3rd one-day international in Canberra over South Africa, and the home team will look to wrap up the five-match rubber with a second consecutive win when the two cricketing giants clash in the 4th ODI in Melbourne.
Australia found their batting groove in a good batting wicket at the Manuka Oval, with opener Aaron Finch leading from the front by striking a nice century, which in turn helped the home side to a score well in excess of 300.
In reply, South Africa looked in control in the first half of their innings, with Hashim Amla and Quinton De Kock finally firing at the top, but the Proteas then lost their way as Mitchell Starc's four-for handed Australia a handsome 73-run victory.
Confidence will be high amongst the Aussies heading into the 4th one-dayer at the MCG, and plenty of attention will be on the ever-entertaining Steven Smith, who played some truly outrageous, out-of-this-world shots to lead Australia's final overs charge in stunning style.
"I think his strength is that he's got a lot of energy at the wicket," said South Africa skipper AB De Villiers about the batsman he has a lot in coming with in Smith. "He's almost a captain's nightmare when he comes to the crease after 25-30 overs, especially on this kind of ground where you know you're not going to get three and four wickets in patches.
"You're going to have to work hard for your wickets, and if you get a busy cricketer at the wicket it makes it very difficult for you to control the innings, to keep your rhythm and just to pace it a little bit better. He makes it really difficult for us in doing that."
If the likes of Finch, David Warner and Shane Watson can continue to fire at the top and set that base, then the South Africa pace bowlers, no matter what their prowess, will have a hard time containing Smith.
However, it will be up to the much-vaunted South African bowling attack to come up trumps in this fourth one-day international, after they failed to hit their usual heights on Wednesday. Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander will have to lead with the ball if South Africa are to stand any chance of restricting the powerhouse Australia batting lineup.
De Villiers knows this series is a bit of a dress rehearsal for the World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand in February-March. Inculcating a winning habit in the surroundings they will face at the World Cup will be essential if they are to make a run at their first World Cup title.
"It's very difficult to imitate World Cup games, but when you play for South Africa in any game, the competitive juices are there and you want to win," he said. "But there is something different in a World Cup.
"It is a bit more special and every game matters a lot to you. There's no a room for mistakes. Here, you can get away with a bad game or two.
"We'll just have to put that right in Melbourne."
Where to Watch Live
The Aus vs SA 4th ODI is scheduled for a 2.30 pm local time (9 am IST, 3.30 am GMT, 5.30 am SA time) start with love TV coverage in India on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India on Starsports online.
Catch the penultimate one-dayer of the series in Australia on Channel 9 or via a live stream on Cricket Australia Live. South Africa viewers can catch all the action on SuperSport 2 or via by live streaming on SuperSport Live Online.
Expected lineups: Australia: Aaron Finch, David Warner, Shane Watson, Steven Smith, George Bailey (capt), Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, Josh Hazlewood.
South Africa: Quinton De Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf Du Plessis, Rilee Rossouw, AB De Villiers (capt), David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel.