Graeme Smith during the South African national cricket team training session at PPC Cement Newlands on January 01, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Gallo Images)

The South Africa tour of Australia is fast approaching, with the first Test beginning on December 17, and former captain Graeme Smith believes the Proteas should have an 'aggressive mindset' heading into the series.

"I'd like to see South Africa back their six batters," Smith told ESPNcricinfo.

"I think there's always that fear because the batting has been weak. They've always looked to play the extra batter.

"Maybe that can be a defensive mindset and not an aggressive mindset. I'd like to see them take an aggressive mindset.

"You've got Lungi Ngidi, you've got Marco Jansen. You've got [Kagiso] Rabada and Anrich Nortje, and you've got Keshav Maharaj, who are all outstanding Test bowlers and can really win you games single-handedly.

"Work on the batters, get the six batters to bat in partnerships and get totals. If you get the totals you want, bowlers can win you games.

"South Africa should pick the bowlers who can win you games."

Test Captain Dean Elgar has admitted that the coaches are still weighing up what will be the best side to enter the first Test with, and specifically whether or not they should bring an extra batsman into the lineup.

Smith also believes that South Africa has to focus on building partnerships, with only nine century stands in the last two years.

"If you can get those partnerships together over 100-150, you start to make an impact on the team's innings," he said.

"I think when you're under pressure, you tend to focus on yourself and the pressure just grows, how you can work together as a batting unit to post totals there in Australia is going to be key.

"You obviously need some of your big players to perform well and take the pressure off the youngsters."

As per usual, South Africa's bowling is the best part of their game at the moment, with the second-lowest bowling average in Test cricket currently sitting at 24.94.

The two standouts in the bowling department include Rabada and Nortje, who sit sixth and 23rd respectively in the ICC Test bowling rankings.

The first of three Tests between Australia and South Africa starts on December 17 in Brisbane at the Gabba.