Australian captain Ricky Ponting has expressed bemusement at comments made by South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher that he had lost respect for members of the world's best team.
In an interview with The Wisden Cricketer magazine, Boucher launched a stinging tirade against the Australians and urged the South African cricket public to make life difficult for Ponting's team.
The South African wicketkeeper's comments, on the eve of Australia's one-day squad's departure, are the latest in a series of spirited off-field interchanges between the two rivals.
"We did share a few beers after the Test series. But a lot of guys' eyes, maybe on both sides, have been opened," Boucher said.
"I think the beers that are drunk may be just for the sake of it because that's the right thing to do.
"I'm not going to mention names but I have lost respect for one or two of their players."
"It's do-or-die on the field and hopefully we can keep the rest to a minimum."
But Ponting was puzzled when asked his thoughts on Boucher's remarks.
"To tell you the truth I'm not really sure where Mark's coming from there," Ponting told AAP.
"It's disappointing to hear those sorts of things."
"It was a tough hard series, no doubt about that, but I don't think there was anything spiteful on the ground."
"I think at the end of the day the Test series was played in the right spirit."