Brian Lara has likened the frailty of Australia's current Test side and potential for a "downward spiral" to that of the West Indies who fell sharply into cricket disarray after dominating the 1980s.
Australia lost their fifth straight Test on Tuesday when they were crushed by South Africa in Hobart by an innings and 80 runs to lose the series 2-0 with a match to play.
Since 2011, Australia have won just over half their Test series, suffering losses to the Proteas, England, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
In the 10 years prior, the country lost only six series, equalling the record for consecutive Test match victories with 16 between December 2005 to January 2008.
"The fear factor is no longer there and a similar thing happened to the West Indies 25 years ago," Lara told News Corp Australia.
"When Australia beat us at home in 1995, no one feared us any more and that's going to be the situation with Australia.
"Especially if they are not travelling well."
The West Indies are a shadow of the team that won a then-record 11 straight Tests in the 1980s, now sitting eighth in world rankings ahead of only Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
Lara warned the Australians of the potential for a rapid decline, believing their 3-0 loss in Sri Lanka this year has given opponents a sniff of their vulnerability.
"The morale of the team was pretty low when we started to lose," said Lara, who is in Sydney to play the Australian Open pro-am on Wednesday.
"Everything must stay as harmonious as possible.
"You can dig a bigger hole for yourself if you are not unified and you start worrying about other things that may not even be happening.
"It could become a downward spiral."
Australia's next assignment is probably the toughest in world cricket - a four-Test tour of India early next year - which would require a huge turnaround on the dry Asian wickets given the third Test loss in Colombo was their ninth straight defeat in the region.