James Taylor started his England tour with a century before saying it’s time to put his previous experience against South Africa behind him.
The Nottinghamshire limited-overs captain played two Tests against the Proteas in 2012, posting scores of 34, 10 and four and being dismissed by Morne Morkel on two occasions.
A three-year hiatus from the five-day arena followed, during which Taylor has excelled in both first class and one-day international cricket, earning a recall to the team for the recent third Test against Pakistan.
Having taken his opportunity with an assured 76, the 25-year-old is hoping to retain his slot at number five in the order for the forthcoming clashes against the world’s number one Test nation.
Starting the tour with a 152-ball knock of 114 prior to retiring against a youthful Invitational XI, Taylor has made a statement.
Furthermore, the former Leicestershire man believes his game is unrecognisable from when he struggled for runs against South Africa three years ago.
"Obviously in terms of runs I don't remember it as fondly as I would like, but I felt pretty confident and comfortable at the crease," he said.
"That was three years ago and now I'm a lot more experienced, have played a lot more international cricket, so I'm hoping it's going to work in my favour.
"I feel in a really good place and I'm a better player now than I was three years ago so hopefully the runs will come with that.
"Obviously it's going to be a massive series; they're in their own backyard and are the No 1 team in the world," Taylor continued.
"But I've had a good year leading up to this, so hopefully it's going to work in my favour and I can score a few runs out there."
Both England and South Africa succumbed to series defeats in sub-continental conditions last time out.
England were 2-0 losers in the UAE while South Africa collapsed to a 3-0 defeat in India.
Taylor believes the recent form of both sides makes for a tight contest, which gets underway in Durban on Boxing Day.
"It's a good time to play anybody from where we're at,” said Taylor.
“We're playing some really good cricket and we're a really exciting young side.
"Although it's going to be a tough task, they've had a really tough tour in India, and I think we're going to be on South African soil for as long as they've been back so it's pretty even."
England are returning to the scene of their Ashes triumph in 2016 for Royal London One-Day Internationals against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Don't miss the opportunity to watch some of the best players in the world go toe-to-toe in the unique surroundings of Trent Bridge and secure your seats now.