Graeme Smith believes Andrew Flintoff’s presence at the Headingley Test which began yesterday, will authenticate the outcome of the second Test.
No one, the South Africa captain contends, will be able to question the legitimacy of victory over England now that lynchpin all-rounder Flintoff is fit again.
Smith is also looking forward to the byplay which has become a major part of the Leeds experience, via the fancy-dress ‘wildlife’ among the crowd.
But it is the opportunity for his team to prove themselves against an England team with Flintoff in the ranks which appears to be the major motivator.
"Personally, I have a lot of respect for ‘Fred’ - what he’s achieved and the type of man he is," said Smith.
"I’m sure he’s going to be a big influence on the England team - so for us, it is going to be a challenge.
"There’s obviously a lot of hype around him and he seems to handle everything in his stride."
Smith sees Flintoff as a significant adversary with bat and ball, despite the wisdom and evidence that - in his most recent incarnation since his return from ankle surgery and then a side strain - he is now more of a threat with the latter.
"He is dangerous with both; he’s a guy you really have to respect on both fronts, as opposition," Smith believes.
"(England captain) Michael (Vaughan) obviously sees him more as a frontline bowler. But if you look at his batting - especially in the Ashes 2005 - he has played some key knocks."
South Africa’s batsmen - who battled back in the second innings of the first Test at Lord’s to salvage a draw after following on - will certainly be forewarned about facing Flintoff.
"As batters, it is going to be a challenge - with the angles he creates with the ball," added the captain.
"But, if we can win, no one can ask questions of us."
Vaughan has made it clear Flintoff will bat at number seven and Smith interprets that as a tactic specific to the demands of Headingley - where batting can prove a difficult pastime, depending on the amount of cloud cover.
"I suppose at Headingley, with overhead conditions, they might think they need that extra batter," he suggests.
"We expected him to play; we prepared to face him from the start, but obviously they took a slightly more cautious route.
"Now it’s just where they are going to fit him in - and I guess that debate goes on."
As for the Headingley spectators, Smith is confident they too can help switch his team on as they seek to go 1-0 up in the four-match series.
"We can use it as motivation," he said.
"Most of our guys enjoy it and are interested in it. When the ‘barmy army’ travel to South Africa, there is one of the best cricket atmospheres in the world.
"Most of those guys usually have a good sense of humour. It’s just important that you use it in the right spirit."
Smith got the inside track on what to expect from someone who knows the score - Yorkshire batsman Vaughan.
"The crowd, the whole influence of everyone around us is going to be different from Lord’s," he predicted.
"I did a function with Michael last night and he said there would be a few ‘cows and pigs’ walking around the stadium.
"I think there will be a few interesting characters - and a whole different atmosphere.
"I’m sure the juice levels will be up and as a team it’s something we’re prepared for and are looking forward to.
"These are the challenges of winning away from home."