A video showing South Africa captain Graeme Smith reacting to former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting's decision to retire from Test cricket following the third and final Test at Perth.

Smith, addressing a press conference ahead of the third Test, said that Ponting's decision came as a shock to the South Africa team.

"Initially it was a bit of a shock…I've played a lot against Ricky and he's the most competitive man I've ever played against," said Smith.

"I think the way he played the game, the intensity with which he played the game, is a credit to him. He's always represented Australia with a lot of dignity and a lot of skill.

"From the South African perspective and a personal perspective, we certainly have a lot of respect for the man," he said.

Smith also said that the Proteas are hoping Vernon Philander and Jacques Kallis would be fit for the Test match starting Friday.