Sydney: Michael Clarke said he expected South Africa's pace attack to trouble the Australian batsmen when the two sides play a Test series later this year.
The South African pace trio of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel are regarded as the best in the world and bowled England over twice to help South Africa to a win by an innings and 12 runs in the first Test at the Oval last week.
South Africa play three Tests in Australia in November-December this year, and two of the Tests are at traditionally pace-friendly pitches in Brisbane and Perth, while the third will be played in Adelaide.
"It'll be as fast as you'll face in world cricket in those conditions. Fast and bouncy," said Clarke. "You've got to combat it, that's part of playing international cricket."
At the same time, Clarke said that he would rather focus on his own players to rise to the challenge. "I don't really care what their team is doing, to be honest," said Clarke. "I care that we're doing exactly what we did against India. Our bowlers in general are taking 20 wickets and our batters are putting lots of runs on the board."
Australia have a tough schedule lined up. The South Africa series will be preceded by a limited-overs tour of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to play Pakistan and Afghanistan, and after the South Africa series, there will be a visit from Sri Lanka and an away series against India before back-to-back Ashes campaigns.
"It's going to be tough," admitted Clarke. "The Australian summer, then we go play Test matches in India and then we've got Ashes away and home. The next 15 months don't get any harder as an international cricketer."
The Australian team's conditioning camp starts in Darwin next week ahead of the tour of the UAE, which will start with a one-off ODI against Afghanistan on August 25.