South African skipper Faf du Plessis has revealed how a sledge from the Aussies in the first Test came back to haunt them in a massive way.
Stump microphones picked up much of Australia's sledging in Durban but not all of it, but du Plessis revealed on Tuesday how the visitors needled young opener Aiden Markram.
"I remember coming out to bat with him in Durban and there was a lot of chirp that he only scores runs against the small nations," du Plessis told reporters.
'EMBARRASSING': Warnie unloads on Aussies after record loss
"He's looking pretty good after this series."
Markram went on to score two centuries and finish the leading run-scorer of the four-Test series, tallying 480 runs at 60.
He was also the recipient of an almighty spray from David Warner after the youngster inadvertently ran out skipper AB de Villiers in the first innings in Durban.
That incident also came back to bite the tourists, with du Plessis opening up about how Australia's aggressive victory in the first Test served as the turning point that put South Africa on the path to a historic series win.
The hosts were humbled in the series opener, losing by 118 runs after Mitchell Starc produced a couple of devastating spells of reverse-swing.
South Africa hit back with big victories in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Johannesburg to record the nation's first home Test series win over Australia since the end of apartheid.
Du Plessis admitted his side were stung into action by what transpired in the first Test.
Warner's staircase rampage made headlines around the world, while the former vice-captain's animated celebration after running De VIlliers out for a duck also went down poorly in the Proteas' dressing room.
Australia peppered South Africa with verbals in that match, during which Nathan Lyon was charged by the match referee for his 'disrespectful' ball drop celebration after completing Warner's run out of de Villiers.
"We were extremely motivated before this series and up for the challenge, but there was definitely a shift in mindset after that first Test," du Plessis said.
"We almost went from motivated to motivated (and) angry.
"The guys were really pumped after that first game and for the first time I could feel all 11 guys were really looking forward to the next Test to try and make a play in the series. That was a turning point for us, mentally."
De Villiers expressed similar sentiments last month, noting that "we were embarrassed in a way on our home soil (in the first Test), so we felt like it was time for us to really get up for it".