Barbs continue to flow freely between the Australian and South African camps ahead of next week’s opening Test in Centurion, with Proteas skipper Graeme Smith offering a pointed rebuke of the visitors’ confidence.
Australia have spruiked their bowling attack as the best in the world over the past month, while Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle have spoken of their desire to rattle Smith.
Proteas coach Russell Domingo dismissed captain Michael Clarke’s proclamation as “all talk” last month, but Smith went a step further when it was raised at a media conference on Monday in Johannesburg.
“When you’ve played against Australia enough, you learn to sift through a lot of the bull – dot, dot, dot,” Smith said.
“One of our great abilities has been to be humble and focus on ourselves and get ourselves ready.
“Internal strength is important, and we don’t really feel the need to get caught up in that sort of stuff.
“We know that this series is going to be decided by the cricket that’s played over the 15 days.”
South Africa face a Composite XI in a three-day practice match, starting on Tuesday at the Wanderers.
“We will probably mix between both teams and make it as competitive as possible, and as similar as possible to what we are going to get over the next period of time (against Australia),” Smith said.
“Our goal over the next nine days is to make sure that when we hit day one at Centurion, we are in a frame of mind, mentally, physically and skill-wise that, whatever we do, we can do it well.”