South Africa and Australia go into the third MTN one-day international at Newlands tomorrow level on one win each, and Proteas coach Mickey Arthur believes the outcome of the match could determine the outcome of the five-match series.
"It's hugely important to us and we are really looking forward to it," said Arthur yesterday. "The two teams are evenly matched and it's all there for one team to reach out and grab and make a claim for the series.
"The side that wins on Thursday will take a lot from it. Bearing in mind the situation now, at 1-all, it's probably the most important ODI. The two sides are so close that if you just open the door, the other side will walk through."
Arthur said South Africa had done some serious soul-searching after their 141-run drubbing in Durban last Friday, and he expected the Australians had done the same after South Africa dismissed them for 131 at SuperSport Park on Sunday.
"It's going to be up to us. We put into practice [on Sunday] a lot of what we spoke about on Friday night. We reinforced what we'd spoken about before the first ODI and I think our execution on Sunday was fantastic.
"We have an unbelievable balance in the team that we've put out now. I think people have seen the balance that Jacques Kallis brings to our side. With this current combination, we bat to 10 - I certainly include [Wayne] Parnell in that - and we have seven bowling options at our disposal." - Sapa