Alastair Cook said South Africa captain AB de Villiers must be a "brave man" to take a dig at England seamer James Anderson on the eve of the fourth and final Test at Centurion.
De Villiers highlighted weaknesses in the England side despite the fact that the tourists won the series last Saturday by taking a 2-0 lead.
Anderson, England's leading wicket-taker in Test cricket, has not been at his best so far in the series and it was Stuart Broad who took centre stage in the third Test at the Wanderers - taking 6-17 as the Proteas were skittled out for only 83 to slump to a seven-wicket defeat.
De Villiers said: "There's no doubt in my mind there are weaknesses there and we have exposed some of them over the last few weeks but not enough,
"The bowling is experienced, but some of the guys have lost some pace over the years. They are smart and skilled so there are other angles to cover, but they are not unbeatable, there's no doubt."
The batsman's comments were taken as a swipe at Anderson, who has taken just three wickets in the two Tests he has featured in, and England captain Cook thinks De Villiers may come to regret his remarks.
Cook said: "He's obviously trying to wind everything up and make it competitive. I'm sure if Jimmy reads it he'll have a word to say, and actually his speeds have been quite good in this series.
"He hasn't quite had the luck and in the last game I don't know how many plays and misses he had.
"It's a brave man to call Jimmy Anderson out, but I guess it will spice up the match a little."