If you use the new ball well, you'll get swing, pace and bounce. If you hang on a few days, you'll get some turn. An equal-opportunity venue if ever there was one, and one that will suit both sides as they are strong in all areas.

Established: 1956
Capacity: 34,000
Floodlights: Yes
Ends: Corlett Drive End, Golf Course End
Home Team: Highveld Lions
Head Groundsman: Chris Scott
Test History: 33 Tests; 13 home wins; 10 away wins; 10 draws
Last 10 Tests: 4 home wins; 6 away wins
Last 10 tosses: 10 batted first (6 wins, 4 defeats)

Overview
The New Wanderers ground, situated in Illovo, Johannesburg, became the third cricket venue in the city after the Old Wanderers Stadium and Coca-Cola Park (which serves as the city's main rugby union stadium).

The ground was completely redeveloped following South Africa's readmission to international cricket in 1991 and further renovated for the 2003 World Cup, when it played host to the final between Australia and India.

Known as 'The Bullring' for its rotund design and intimidating atmosphere, the Wanderers is part of a greater sporting complex that is steeped in history, although the clubhouse was recently rebuilt after being gutted by fire in 2004.

The new clubhouse is similar in design to the original and contains an excellent stash of memorabilia, while the bar offers some of the cheapest drinks in town.

The ground sports an archetypal South African wicket - hard and dry with plenty of bounce - which often provides lots of seam movement up front. The inclusion of a spinner can be helpful for the second innings but it's rare for a twirler to take five - New Zealand's Matthew Hart and Australia's John Gleeson are the only spinners to do so since South Africa's readmission.

But while the Wanderers is often generous to seamers, the wicket can also be a great batting strip. Undeniable proof of this came in March 2006 when the ground played host to the most remarkable one-day international game in history, as South Africa successfully chased down Australia's world record total of 434 for 4.

While that match was of a freakish nature, it's generally known that if a Test batsman can get past the initial examination provided by the seam and bounce, then there are plenty of runs to be had.

Last Time Out
The most recent Test at the Bullring was played in November 2011, between the Proteas and Australia, which the visitors won by two wickets late on the final day.

The Proteas won the toss and chose to bat first, looking to make the most of the track once the pacemen softened the ball. The middle order of Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers and Ashwell Prince did the bulk of the scoring, each making half centuries as the hosts were all out for 266 late on day one.

The Aussie bowlers shared the spoils in that innings, but Dale Steyn did the bulk of the damage for the Proteas in the next innings. He took four wickets, and Imran Tahir three, as the Baggy Greens made 296 all out. Shane Watson and Phil Hughes both recorded 88.

With the scores relatively level going into the second innings, the Proteas looked to bat the opposition out the game. But Jacques Rudolph and Graeme Smith failed again as the openers, leaving Hashim Amla to score a ton to rescue the knock. De Villiers added another half ton to the score.

The Aussies then needed 310 to win the match and they went in just after lunch on day four. Vernon Philander struck early to leave the batting side on 19 for two, but his five-fer was not enough to prevent defeat as Usman Khawaja, Ricky Ponting and Brad Haddin scored the runs required.

Happy Hunting Ground
South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis has played the most Tests at this ground, and has the most runs by a large margin, and is the only player to score more that a 1000 runs at the venue. He averages 42, and has a top score of 186.

Proteas skipper Graeme Smith is second on the list with 722 runs in nine Tests, at an average of 48. Considering this will be his 100th Test as captain, he will be hoping to add another ton to his records here, and continue his tradition of winning or drawing every time he gets a 100.

This is also a happy venue for AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, while there are no Pakistanis on the list of players to do well here, neither with bat nor ball. This is not surprising, considering they last played here in 1998, and only twice in total.

As for the Proteas, the top wicket takers, with 53 scalps, are Makhaya Ntini and Shaun Pollock, while Dale Steyn is the best of the current lot, with 36 wickets in seven Tests. Kallis continued to show his class and is fifth on the list with 30 victims.

They Said
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said this week: "In terms of experience, with the exception of Umar Gul, no (bowlers) have played in South Africa before. But it's about adapting to the conditions. But this bowling attack and Junaid Khan in particular, with the way he's been bowling, will love to bowl in these conditions.

"If Irfan puts the ball in the right areas he can be successful. Saeed Ajmal is one of the best bowlers in the world at the moment and in South African conditions, you do get turn and bounce, especially on day four and five. These bowlers will play a key role in our campaign."

Vernon Philander, after the Australia Test five-fer: "All surfaces are conducive to me. I rely on good line and length on the fourth stump and so I can nip it away or nip it back. That comes into play on most wickets all over the world."

Weather Forecast
As is usually the case in the summer in Joburg, there are thundershowers predicted for all five days of the Test, mostly in the late afternoons. If tradition is followed, they should be over quickly, allowing play to resume as heat will not be an issue.

Day three has a higher rain forecast, at 95 percent for much of the day, but hopefully the clouds will hold, while Monday also has a heavy forecast. Day five, Tuesday, seems to be set for heavy thunderstorms, so this game could well find itself short of its 15 sessions.

Conclusion
Wanderers is one of those grounds that could go either way, and isn't predominantly in favour of any discipline. If you bat well, and get past the new ball, the track's got a lot of runs in it.

If you use the new ball well, you'll get swing, pace and bounce. If you hang on a few days, you'll get some turn. An equal-opportunity venue if ever there was one, and one that will suit both sides as they are strong in all areas.

The Proteas must be prepared to face a stronger batting line up than New Zealand provided, as well as a better pace unit and one of the world's premier spinners in Saeed Ajmal. Most sides tend to bat first here, a good option if Ajmal is to be avoided at the death.