Arthur hopes to give Aussies edge
Mickey Arthur is hoping his knowledge of the South Africa team will give his Australia side the edge in the three-match Test series which gets underway next month.
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Arthur knows the key players in the top-ranked Test line-up better than most after spending five years in charge of the Proteas before moving on in 2010.
The South African-born 44-year-old admits the series against his country of birth has 'a little extra spice' and said he'll happily divulge secrets about his former players in a bid to steer Australia to a series victory.
"Every team analyses their opposition, every team's got information on tap and the IPL's broken down a lot of barriers because players are playing with and against each other all the time," Arthur said.
"But I can take it one step further in that I know those guys on a personal level.
"I know mentally where they are and I know what makes them tick, so hopefully some of that information can be used to benefit us."
A 3-0 whitewash could propel third-ranked Australia back to the top of the Test tree, while a series win of any kind would move them within touching distance of the number one ranking.
"It's going to be a really interesting series but first and foremost it's about getting Australia back to number one," Arthur said.
"We have a massive opportunity to get back to number one in the world and that's what this series is going to be about.
"On a personal level for me I guess it has a little bit of extra spice playing against the country of your birth, the country that I coached for five years.
"I know a lot of those players personally and built really good relationships with them but it just provides a bit more inspiration to beat them."
But Arthur is under no illusions as to the challenge that awaits his side against the premier pace attack in Test cricket.
Adding to the degree of difficulty is the fact the first and third Tests will be played on the two liveliest pitches in the country - Brisbane and Perth.
"It's definitely the two best pace attacks in the world and it's an obvious scenario but I think it's going to be about the batters," he said.
"It's going to be about which top six can adapt better and which top six is going to be more consistent over three Tests.
"I think both groups of batters are going to be in for a real baptism of fire and it's going to be a real good opportunity for some of our top six especially, to test themselves against two really world-class bowlers.
"And if they come out on top after that well they can look forward to a really good, long Test career."