AB: We're not scared of Oz
Cape Town - Proteas wicketkeeper AB de Villiers says they won't stoop down to Australia's level by getting involved in a war-of-words ahead of their Test series next month.
South Africa host Australia in three Tests and three T20s next month, starting with the first Test at Centurion on February 12.
The Aussies are cock-a-hoop following their recent 5-0 Ashes demolition of England, and believe they have what it takes to down the No 1-ranked Test team in their own backyard.
Batsman David Warner recently claimed that the Proteas will head into the series "on the back foot"
while captain Michael Clarke and fast bowler Peter Siddle
both said Australia's bowling line-up is better than South Africa's.
However, De Villiers insisted his players won't be side-tracked by any attempt at intimidation from the tourists.
"The Aussies can talk as much as they want, it doesn't scare us," De Villiers told the Beeld website
"I don't think we should fall in the trap and stoop down to their level by becoming involved in a war-of-words.
"There are different reasons - besides big-talk - as to why we became the No 1 team in the world. We want to showcase it in this series.
"We know they want to take our focus off cricket by trying tom intimidate us, but it's important that we let them know that we won't fall for their tricks.
"They also need to realise that we won't take a backward step when things get heated. For us, the game remains the number one priority.
"It's a series we are really looking forward to and I'm very excited about it. It will be a big challenge because the Aussies are playing with a lot of confidence.
"They're an in-your-face type of team. But we're not afraid of them and see it as a good challenge to again prove that we are worthy of being the No 1 team," continued De Villiers.