Batsman David Warner has laid down a marker for Australia's upcoming Test series against New Zealand, calling out Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum for comments he made about Australia's on-field behaviour.
On the eve of the first of a three-Test series at the Gabba, Warner said McCullum, who was vocally critical of both Australian captain Steve Smith and Warner himself, was in no position to pass judgement on an Ashes series.
"I don't quite understand how a current cricket captain decides to play this brand of cricket on the field, these Mr Nice Guys, and then all of a sudden think he can comment on an Ashes series," Warner said.
"One, he's never played in an Ashes series, and two he doesn't know what it's like to play an Ashes series. He should actually just watch the game and try to work out what they have to do to try and beat us instead of commenting on it.
"That's something I found a bit weird at the time. But at the end of the day, he wanted to do that, and obviously he got paid for it."
Much has been made of the contrasting styles of the Australian and New Zealand teams, with the visitors actively positioning themselves as the good guys of world cricket, upholding the fabled "spirit of cricket" at all times.
But Warner insists the perceived battle between cricketing good and evil will do little to deter Australia, whose "win at all costs" mentality has made few friends from travelling teams in recent years.
"At the end of the day, you're not playing for the spirit of cricket award, you're playing for a series," he said.
"For us, our goal is to win the series and go on to become number one in all formats. And we're always going to fight for that, we're going to try our best and work as hard as we can to become number one in all formats.
"At the end of the day, we try not to cross that line. A couple of times we might have headbutted it, and a couple of times we might have crossed it, but we've got to try to win every game that's possible."