Even before a ball had been bowled in the South Africa versus Australia cricket series, both teams had dabbled in a bit of reverse psychology.
Cricket tests between these two proud nations have always been hard-fought and the one that started in Perth early this morning will be no different.
The teams appear to be well matched, though the Aussies may have an ace up their sleeve in fiery and well-rested speed merchant Mitchell Starc.
If it plays true to form, the pitch in Perth could favour the fast men and that may make the job for the South Africans even tougher as they attempt to tame Starc and company.
Proteas batting coach Neil McKenzie managed to put on a brave face when the threat of Starc and his 150km/h thunderbolts were brought up. McKenzie, a fine player of pace bowling in his day, said Starc’s pace does not scare the Proteas.
According to McKenzie, the fear factor lies in a batsman losing his wicket and not about facing up to a particular bowler.
It should not be forgotten that South Africa have as least three quality fast bowlers of their own in Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel who are quite capable of giving as good as they get.
This is where the reverse psychology starts to come in as both teams bid to get in the minds of their opponents.
Former Australian wicketkeeper and batting star Adam Gilchrist has been heaping praise on SA speed merchant Steyn in the build-up to the opener.
He said that any player would aspire to have the record and longevity Steyn has enjoyed throughout his career.
He labelled Steyn as “champion”, and this is likely to put pressure on the South African stalwart to live up to expectations.
With so much quick bowling talent on offer in both teams, the action promises to be fast and furious during the three-match series.