Ah, but isn't it just the cutest volte-face? Just a few years ago, the one who used to be decidedly slimmer was bellowing on about being unpatriotic, while the one with the skunk surgically attached to his head was gleefully labelling his new nemesis 'a complete muppet' in a hastily compiled biography. And now? Handshakes, smiles, pats on the back; hell, Kevin Pietersen even referred to his sworn enemy as 'Smithy' in the post-match rigmarole. At this stage, they'll be planning holidays together and naming their kids after each other by the end of the one-day series.Both men have good reason to be in high spirits. A series win in England has been an elusive grail for South Africa, and finally nailing it this time around is a hugely satisfying achievement for Smith ? particularly given that the series was sealed by the skipper playing the best innings by a South African since Jacques Kallis in Melbourne in 1997. A firing top order, an exciting pace attack, and a team full of confidence ? Smith has every reason to smile. Pietersen might not have won a series, but he did win his first Test in charge, with a first innings hundred for good measure. And while the idea of KP as England captain will still take some getting used ? there was a certain surrealism to his presence at the toss, and the animated directing of traffic from mid-off ? he does appear to have channelled the me-against-the-world (and South Africa in particular) attitude into something more positive. One Test is precious little to pass judgement on, but England's unlikeliest leader might just be up for the job. Further supporting that conjecture is the similarity to another man who's gone on to win a series. Brash, arrogant, happy to fire off incendiary quotes ? sound familiar? It's nothing new to point out that Smith and Pietersen clashed so visibly because they share so many of the same traits; if you're looking for pointers as to how Pietersen's leadership career might unfold, however, then Smith's success is no bad guide. And the parallel continues with the major challenge on the horizon for both South Africa and England: the Australians. We get them home and away at the end of the year, England get them in the Ashes next year, and while the Australians will enter both series as firm favourites, the series that's just finished suggested forcefully that Australia will face some stiff competition from both opponents. South Africa's cause is the more pressing for us, and series win in England notwithstanding, there are a couple of areas Mickey Arthur can't be entirely happy with. Chief amongst them is the slow bowling, never a great South African strength; Paul Harris looked imperious in domestic cricket last season, but his action appears to have dropped worryingly, undermining his chief asset, his height. It'd be nice if he turned it a little more, too... The other glaring aspect of this tour was surprising, rather than concerning ? and reassuring from a team perspective. That South Africa won the series with Kallis contributing a mere 100 runs across eight innings is scarcely believable, indifferent form and some outstanding deliveries (Flintoff's Yorker being the pick of them) accounting for a most modest English sojourn. Kallis will be back, and in no small way, for he remains South Africa's finest batsman by some distance; for once the team didn't have to rely on him, and Hashim Amla, Ashwell Prince, Neil McKenzie and AB de Villiers combined in a manner that hasn't been a South African top six hallmark in recent years. There's the one-day diversions to come ? Herschelle Gibbs the man under most scrutiny here ? but already thoughts are drifting to the Australians. Smith's captaincy has matured, the top order looks strong, and Steyn, Ntini and Morkel (with a little adjustment of the radar) combine with pace and menace. We're in for a cracking summer of cricket ? and a little more mutual admiration from the game's newest best friends wrap up the current tour.