Peter Handscomb feels for under-pressure Test wicketkeeper Matthew Wade as he struggles to find form with the Ashes looming.
The former state teammates will face off in the Sheffield Shield when Victoria host Tasmania from Monday at the MCG.
For Handscomb - assured of selection after a glowing 12 months - it will be a chance to simply tune up for the Ashes.
For Wade, it might well be the last chance to salvage his Test career.
The Tasmanian gloveman is seemingly battling with NSW's Peter Nevill, South Australia's Alex Carey and Western Australia's Cameron Bancroft to play in the first Test, starting on November 23 in Brisbane.
Wade has averaged just 20 with the bat since his Test recall last summer and has failed to impress in two rounds of Shield cricket.
But close mate Handscomb believes the 29-year-old is a better batsman than his recent performances suggest.
"I am a bit surprised with Matty because I know how well he can bat," the Victorian skipper said on Friday.
"Obviously, he's under the microscope a little bit, so every little thing he seems to do wrong gets intensified ... which is a bit of a shame, because he does do so much right as well.
"I've been able to see, for the last year, all the things that he has been doing right.
"Hopefully, for his sake, he can focus on that a little bit and try to get away from the negatives."
Legendary Test wicketkeeper Ian Healy last month urged selectors to give the next gloveman a long and interrupted run in the position.
Australia's No.6 spot is another that has effectively come down to a shootout between a dozen candidates in the three Shield rounds preceding the Ashes.
Jake Lehmann have been talked up as a potential bolter but Handscomb says players should be judged on their career records.
"Jake's obviously a very, very good player," he said.
"He went out there and basically made two hundreds, so that's a positive sign.
"But there are guys that have been scoring runs for three or four years.
"Ultimately, you want someone that's going consistently and, if they're only going to be judged on these three games, as opposed to what they've done throughout their career, that can be a bit tough."
2017-18 International Fixtures
Magellan Ashes Series
First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets
Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets
Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets
Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets
Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets
ODI Series v England
First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets
Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets
T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets
Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets
Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets
Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14
Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21