South Africa is currently sitting at Number 2 on the test rankings and have been in tremendous form. The longest format which spans out for five days is the most testing when it comes to skill and temperament. It requires patience, stamina and outwitting your opposition more times than they do throughout those days.
Having said that, there are quite a few areas the Proteas should improve on, most notably finding an opening batsman who will be consistent and reliable over a long period of time with Dean Elgar. Stephen Cook is the man that was given the nod at age 33 after tremendous form in the domestic circuit over a long period of time. He made his debut in January 2016. He had notched up 3 centuries in 11 matches and with that 2 half centuries but lately has struggled to get in the runs department and was dropped in the final test against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
A return to form for Hashim Amla would also be great. He has known to be consistent in all the formats over the long period of time, but not recently. He is also one of the best batsman in the world and looking ahead at the next test series in England, we will need the mighty Hash to find a way past his drought of runs.
The long awaited return of AB de Villiers in the test scene has also been a major topic of discussion in not just South Africa but also the rest of the world. South Africa's middle order hasn't been stable ever since he suffered an injury to his shoulder in 2016.
JP Duminy's inconsistency with the bat has been a topic ever since his tremendous debut series he had in Australia back in 2008 against Australia. With an average of 33 in 45 games with just six centuries under his belt his place in the team will come under scrutiny ahead of long awaited return of AB de Villiers in the test circuit.
Dale Steyn, the best bowler in the world has been suffering a shoulder injury for the past three seasons. His return to the Proteas will be much needed as anybody knows that a team with a 100% fit Steyn will only be good for cricket. He's also another senior man the team has been missing in the setup.
The Proteas have three major series this year against Australia, England and India. A win for all three would be fantastic. Especially against India, currently the Number 1 team in the world. Under their new captain Virat Kohli there has been a different feel of competitiveness and urgency in the team.
Considering the previous series lost in India the Proteas need to win to stake a claim as the number one test team in the world.
Having the injured senior players revived and brought back in the mix would really put the team in good position to push for the highest ranking spot.