Mitch Marsh is ready to be chirped by South African crowds as he and several Australians start jostling for spots in this year's Twenty20 World Cup squad.
Marsh was part of Australia's scandal-laden tour of South Africa in 2018, which prompted match referee Jeff Crowe to remark he has never "seen such animosity between two teams".
The allrounder, reflecting on his return to the country for this month's limited-overs tour, admits that "when you go through something like that as a team ... our last three days in South Africa (on that tour) felt like a lifetime."
Marsh also acknowledged that Australia, who start their tour in Johannesburg with a Twenty20 on Friday, are likely to cop some flak from South African crowds throughout the coming weeks.
"It's really important that we stick together and stand up for each other on the field, but in saying that also just focus on playing good cricket," he said.
For Marsh, who is set to represent Australia for the first time since last year's fifth Ashes Test, and play his first white-ball international game since 2018, it is a case of looking to the future rather than dwelling on the past.
The 28-year-old ruined his hopes of a Test recall this summer when he broke his hand punching a WACA dressing-room wall in October.
However, Marsh was recalled by national selectors ahead of fellow allrounder Marcus Stoinis after a productive BBL campaign.
He now finds himself pitched into a fierce selection showdown leading up to the T20 World Cup, which is being held in Australia in October and November.
"There certainly are places up for grabs. There's no point hiding that fact," Marsh said.
"The World Cup carrot is there but I'm just going to focus on this series and playing good cricket.
"It's really important we focus on playing as a team and building as a team towards that World Cup. Obviously this tour is a great start for that.
"South Africa are a very good side. They play extremely well at home and their crowds can be quite vocal at times.
"It's going to be a challenge for us but one that we are definitely up for."
Australian Associated Press