The pressure is likely to be on South Africa in the return series against Australia, said visiting captain Ricky Ponting when his squad flew in on Monday.
"South Africa will start as favourites, that was made clear to me by the Australian media before I left, but the pressure could come back on them," Ponting told reporters.
"There's a lot of expectation among their fans, they played some excellent cricket in Australia."
South Africa clinched their first Test series win on Australian soil last month and the world number one ranking will be up for grabs when the two teams clash in another three-match encounter that starts in Johannesburg on Feb. 26.
Ponting said he would take heart from the way his side battled back to regain the Ashes on home soil in 2006-07 after losing in England in 2005.
"I remember at the end of the 2005 Ashes in England, when we lost for the first time in a long time, we went back to Australia and regrouped," he said.
"England then came to Australia as favourites but they did not live up to expectation and could not handle the pressure."
Vice-captain Michael Clarke is Australia's only injury concern but Ponting was optimistic the middle-order batsman would recover from a back problem to play in a warm-up match against South Africa A in Potchefstroom starting on Friday.
"We'll have to see how Michael's back is after the flight," said the captain.
"Hopefully he'll be okay. Everyone else is fully fit."
Ponting said his players were keen to stay top of the world rankings.
"We want to be recognised as the best and being number one does mean a lot to us," he said. "We were a long way off our best cricket in Australia and our worst cricket was very bad.
"We need to maintain a level of consistency but I am looking forward to the challenge. This is a great tour for Australia to come on and we really enjoy playing here."
Ponting said Australia's one-day international series and Twenty20 victory over New Zealand lifted his team after South Africa had won the Test and limited-overs series immediately before.
"It was nice to end the summer back home on a good note by winning the last two matches against New Zealand," he said.
"There's a good feeling around the group and we need to keep that close-knit feeling through this tour."
Australia were last in South Africa three years ago when Ponting led his team to a 3-0 triumph.