PERTH, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 18: Steve Smith and David Warner of Australia celebrate in the changerooms after Australia regained the Ashes during day five of the Third Test match during the 2017/18 Ashes Series between Australia and England at WACA on December 18, 2017 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Australia and South Africa will get their three-Test series underway at the Gabba on Saturday, with the number one and two ranked sides in the world playing for pivotal points in the World Test Championship.

Not only that, but the rivalry between the two sides has reached fever pitch in recent years following the controversial 2018 ball tampering scandal.

South Africa have won their last three series down under, but will bring a different-looking side to this year's challenge, while Australia are facing their own questions.

Here are the five players who could decide the series.

Dean Elgar

The South African veteran and captain is vastly experienced and has batted against Australia on 19 occasions.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 05: Dean Elgar of South Africa bats during day three of the First Test match between Australia and South Africa at the WACA on November 5, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

His efforts against Cricket Australia XI were solid, top scoring with 109 from 186 and 26 from 78. He has scored a century twice against Australia and has scored three half-centuries.

However, his batting average is the second worst against Australia with a 33.55 average. Only against Pakistan does he have a worse average (25.84).

His worst strike rate is against Australia with a 38.59, with his figures even lower when playing Tests in Australia. Elgar has an average of just 23 runs with a strike rate of 37.01. The key is not only his leadership skills for his side but setting the tone with the bat.

Going at a slower strike rate is not a problem if he is there for the long run although he is yet to really do that in Australian conditions. Other international players who have succeeded that way include Cheteshwar Pujara of India who has an average of over 47 runs in Australia playing this very way.

So, the key for Elgar is maintaining that form from the warm-up game, keeping a steady pace and not throwing his wicket away cheaply by edging a shot he doesn't need to play.


4. David Warner

The Australian opener has been under fire for his recent performances as he has failed to convert decent starts into big runs.

Australia's batsman David Warner reacts as he is bowled by South Africa's Kyle Abbott on the third day's play of the second Test cricket match between Australia and South Africa in Hobart on November 14, 2016. /SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

Warner will be desperate to impress and make a ton. As, against the West Indies in the most recent Test series, he managed just 102 runs in total for the series.

Weather he goes about this in the right way is the main question to be answered. If he tries to bat with significant aggression to try and disprove people who criticise him, it could be spectacular or shocking.

The good news for Warner is he has a 52.26 average against South Africa with four centuries to his name. Ensuring he doesn't lose his wicket early and giving momentum to South Africa could determine the results of this series.