Things can hardly get worse for South Africa on this tour of Australia.

The Proteas fell to defeat inside two days of the first Test in the eighth-shortest completed match in the format.

In the second Test, they were again outclassed, this time by an innings and 182 runs as the Baggy Greens wrapped up the series. 

In what proved the deciding contest, South Africa were skittled for 189 in the first innings - Cameron Green posting figures of 5-27 - before David Warner scored 200 and then retired hurt as Alex Carey notched up 111 to help lead the hosts to 575-8 declared. 


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That left the tourists needing an ambitious 387 for victory, and they duly fell well short.

Temba Bavuma top scored with 65 as they were dismissed for 204 and dropped to fourth in the World Test Championship rankings behind India and Sri Lanka, having arrived Down Under in second place with only Andrew McDonald's charges ahead of them. 

Speaking afterwards, Pat Cummins was able to reflect on the success his team are having at the moment after this latest series win under his captaincy. 

"[It's] probably the best Test team I've played in, just in terms of how well settled everyone is, how well everyone knows the gameplan. 

"In terms of captaining, I don't feel like I have to do much at all. Everyone looks after themselves. You just kind of make sure the buses are on time - which the team manager does. 

"It's just in a really sweet spot at the moment. We know it's not going to stay like this forever, but I think we can all just kind of sit back and appreciate the place that we are in at the moment, because it's really special. 

"We're having a hell of a lot of fun as well as doing it together with some of our best mates."

Cummins' opposite number Dean Elgar was understandably more downbeat, saying: "That was a bit of a hammering. It is not easy at the moment.

"We're playing for the badge; we're playing for the pride of our team. I'm sure there are a lot of guys hurting."

With Green and Mitchell Starc both fracturing fingers in the second Test, all-rounder Ashton Agar and opener Matthew Renshaw have been called up for the third Test in Sydney at the SCG, while Josh Hazlewood returns to the squad after missing the first two Tests with a side strain and the uncapped Lance Morris retains his place, making it an interesting variety of bowlers to choose from. 

Agar, 29, played his last Test way back in September 2017 against Bangladesh, while Renshaw's last outing in the longest international format came against South Africa the following year in the infamous Sandpapergate series. 

There is a high chance that South Africa will play pretty much the same team that they did in the second Test, with the exception of Theunis de Bruyn, who has flown home for the birth of his first child. 

That news means that Heinrich Klaasen is likely to be called up for just his second Test appearance, more than three years after his debut against India. 

The circumstances mean that the 31-year-old has a virtually pressure-free opportunity to stake a claim for a more regular spot in the side, ahead of a three-match ODI series against Australia where the team will hope to give a better account of themselves. 

Tune in to the third Test between Australia and South Africa at 11.30pm on Tuesday 3 January, exclusively live on BT Sport 2.