A refreshed AB de Villiers is "hungry to score big runs" in Test cricket again, according to South Africa captain Faf du Plessis as he eyes a revenge mission against India.
The big-hitting De Villiers played his first Test since January 2016 in the standalone match against Zimbabwe last week, deputising as skipper and hitting a 40th half century in the first four-day Test, which finished inside two.
India are likely to pose an altogether more difficult challenge, but De Villiers - whose hiatus from the longest format allowed him to focus on limited-overs cricket and spend time with his family - is itching to make an impact.
"What's important with AB is that he is fresh and hungry to score big runs. He has had a good break," said Du Plessis ahead of the first Test, which starts at Newlands on Friday.
"He feels mentally strong and he wants to put in big performances, so I think that's half the battle already.
"When you have a high-quality player like him, if you get the mental side of things right, he can be a good asset."
The Proteas were beaten 3-0 by India in their last series on the subcontinent and Du Plessis is desperate for his side to make amends on home soil in the three-match contest.
"We were disappointed the last time we went there so we have a score to settle," he said.
"We are very excited for this series. It's good that we can have some importance to the series. Big series is why we play the game.
"We don't have an Ashes, so it's good to see that India versus South Africa can start becoming a really big series.
"There are some really high-class players that are going to bash it out over the next four weeks so that's exciting."