Cape Town: Australian captain Michael Clarke admitted he had been out of order after a heated exchange with South Africa's Vernon Philander during the tense closing stages of the third and final Test at Newlands on Wednesday.
Clarke and Philander were seen exchanging words as the match went into the last 15 overs, with South Africa threatening to secure an unlikely draw.
Philander was given out caught behind when a vicious bouncer from Mitchell Johnson flicked his right glove on the way through to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.
Philander sought a review and third umpire Richard Illingworth overturned umpire Aleem Dar's decision after lengthy analysis of slow motion replays showed the glove was not on the bat when the ball made contact.
Later Philander appeared to get into an argument with Australian players and Clarke rushed in.
"I was out of line," he said.
"There were two extremely passionate teams out there. Something was said to one of my teammates and I went to his defence."
Australia went on to win the match by 245 runs to clinch the series with 27 balls to spare.