Graeme Smith labelled David Warner a “rent a quote”, lashed his controversial comments as sad and then promised to deliver a more frank appraisal at the end of the three-Test series.
South Africa coach Russell Domingo explained earlier this week how seething the Proteas were after Warner suggested Australia should ask the umpires about the legality of wicketkeeper AB de Villiers using his glove to “wipe the rough side every ball”.
Smith left nobody in any doubt in his pre-match press conference on Friday.
“He’s becoming a little bit of a rent a quote,” Smith said, one day before the series decider starts in Cape Town.
“My thoughts are pretty strong and I think I will end up saying something toward the end of the Test match but at the moment my focus is on getting us prepared.
“As the coach said earlier it just adds to the motivation for us going into this game.
“It is just sad that it took the gloss off an extremely good win an extremely good spell of fast bowling.”
Warner faced both internal and external censure for his controversial comments regarding South Africa’s reverse-swing in the second Test.
Warner was fined $2880 by the ICC on Thursday, while the opener was also disciplined internally.
“That (punishment) will stay in-house,” Michael Clarke said of Warner’s words on Sky Sports Radio.
Jacques Kallis, in his column for Cricket Australia’s website, said it was a booming six from Warner that actually set the stage for Dale Steyn’s incredible reverse-swing masterclass.
“The process begins with the rough side … and the Proteas have to thank David Warner for the help he gave them with it,” Kallis wrote.
“Warner hit the first ball of the 21st over from JP Duminy for six and it landed flush on a concrete slab.
“Dale (Steyn) told me that it landed right in the middle of the rough side of the ball and made quite a mess of it. It was the perfect start to preparing the ball for reverse-swing and it was happening as early as the 35th over as a result.”
Former captain Ricky Ponting expressed his disappointment with Warner’s “unfounded” remarks.
“If you see something happening on the field you try and deal with it there and then and not carry it over into the media,” said Ponting on radio station SEN.
“They’re the sort of things basically telling someone else that the opposition is cheating it’s not appropriate.”