Johannesburg: South African captain Faf du Plessis said on Monday that an incident involving England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler and fast bowler Stuart Broad was just a case of him standing up to opponents.
Du Plessis appeared to bump into Buttler while exchanging words with Broad on the fourth afternoon of the fourth Test, which England won by 191 runs.
The incident happened as Du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen were frustrating England during a 92-run partnership on a hot afternoon.
The England players seemed to be getting annoyed at Du Plessis’ habit of picking up the ball after playing a defensive shot.
After a throw from Sam Curran hit his pads, there were some heated words and Du Plessis appeared to walk into Buttler.
“That’s part of my character," said Du Plessis. “If you go back you’ll find I’m always involved in a little bit of something in a game, trying to show that fight as a leader of the team to show you don’t stand back to opposition.
“It’s not like I’m looking for it but if it comes across my way I won’t back down. So that was just him (Broad) saying something to me and me saying something back."
“I don’t think either Jos or myself knew we touched each other," said Du Plessis, who is under pressure after a poor run of form.
“It was just myself and Broady having a go at each other at that stage and it was him trying to get between me and him. There was no malicious intent."
England captain Joe Root said he thought the incident was “absolute nothing" and that at the time he was worried that it would make Du Plessis more determined.
“I thought Faf was using it to get himself going and my worry was that it was going to work in his favour," he said. “It was absolute handbags."
A miserable series for Du Plessis was completed after the close of play on Monday when South Africa were fined 60 percent of their match fee and deducted six World Test Championship points.