Sydney, Nov 19 : South Africa by recruiting former coach Duncan Fletcher, the architect of England's 2005 Ashes victory, as a consultant for the Proteas' forthcoming tour of Australia is expected to escalate tensions further between two teams.
The series, billed as the battle for Test supremacy, has been tinged with spice from the outset, with opposing coaches Mickey Arthur and Tim Nielsen asserting their teams' credentials for the No.1 ranking and highlighting flaws in each other's armoury.
Fletcher repeatedly riled the Australians three years ago, not least with his use of substitute fielders, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Tempers flared when then-England coach allegedly winked at Ricky Ponting from the Trent Bridge pavilion after the Australian captain was run out by Gary Pratt, a little known reserve fielder who subsequently shot to national prominence.
Fletcher on Tuesday was diplomatic when asked of his new appointment.
The former Zimbabwean captain will travel with the South Africans during their current Test series against Bangladesh, then accompany the team to Perth for 12 days before the first Test at the WACA Ground.
"Australia have had a tough time in India but they have proved before that they can bounce back. They are missing a couple of players but they have proved their class time and again," Fletcher said.
Arthur said Fletcher's record against Australia was a big factor in his recruitment. Arthur has previously declared that his team ready to seize the No.1 Test ranking from Australia, and is capable of inflicting Australia's first home series defeat since the 1992-93 season.
Fletcher could extend his contract for South Africa's Test series against England next year, but for now will concentrate on formulating a gameplan capable of rattling Australia at home.