Australia coach Mickey Arthur, who had coached the Graeme Smith-led South Africans to the No.1 Test ranking, now wants to make Australia numero uno in Tests.
South Africa lead the Test rankings on 120 with England on 117 and Australia one point behind, following South Africa's 2-0 series triumph in England.
"The South African series has extra meaning to me. I can't wait for it. The side that wins that (Australia-South Africa series) is No.1. We have the ability to take No.1 away from South Africa so I've done a lot of planning on that," said Arthur.
Those plans include Ashes preparations and strategies for next month's Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
Arthur said Australia could meet fire with fire against Smith's Proteas, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
"South Africa are justifiably No.1. They believe in themselves. They're a very settled unit. But we're a very good Test unit. The series is going to be an absolute cracker," he said.
Arthur said while Smith is a natural leader, Australia's Michael Clarke is also a man who captains with great authority.
Clarke's leadership was honoured this week with selection as captain in the ICC Test team of the year.
"Leaders are born with an aura. Michael Clarke has it, Graeme Smith definitely has it. They talk, people listen. They walk in the dressing room and people stand back. Captain versus captain, it's a really good match-up," Arthur said.