Australia will start the Test series against South Africa on Thursday with the same team that hammered England at the SCG.

Following the completion of a 4-0 Ashes triumph in Sydney in January, captain Steve Smith named an unchanged side on the eve of the four-match series with the Proteas.

Smith stressed the importance of the tourists making a strong start at Kingsmead and says the batsmen must be ready to grind it out in Durban.

"I thought that they'd go with quite slow wickets or maybe green wickets," Smith said. "One of the two. I didn't think they'd have a great deal of pace.

"But looking at the wicket now a couple of days out, it looks like it could be quite slow, maybe not a great deal of carry.

"But I'm terrible at judging wickets, so it's just about summing it up when we're out there and adapting to whatever we're dealt and identifying it quickly and making sure we're doing everything we need to do on our feet quickly.

"First Test match is so important so you don't want to be behind the eight ball early in this series.

"I think the average first innings score is around 270-280, so it could be quite a hard grind and playing the long game as much as you can and toughing out difficult periods and just being on top of every run, every run could be crucial. Just being all over that and making sure we start well with the first Test."


Australia team: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (captain), Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.