Former Australian captain Allan Border has labelled recent criticism of the Gabba green-top on show during the series opener between South Africa and Australia as 'over the top'.

In the wake of the two-day Test - just the first time an international red-ball contest has concluded in such a window since Australia hosted the West Indies in 1931 - several key heads from both camps have had their say on the surface.

In the eyes of travelling skipper Dean Elgar, questions regarding the safety of the unusually green wicket were raised.

Across the divide and down the hall, former Australian captain Steve Smith went so far as to claim the pitch was "probably the most difficult wicket I have played on here in Australia."

Though the wicket would be deemed as 'below average' by ICC match referee Sir Richie Richardson, earning the Queensland venue an official demerit point, heavy-handed criticism has seen Border bristle.

Speaking to Fox Sports, the proud Queenslander bit back, stressing that no batsman was in any danger across the course of the express-paced shoot-out.

“Some of the stuff that was talked about the pitch was over the top,” Border expressed.

“I mean, it wasn't dangerous for a start. That is not a dangerous wicket.

“I can't even remember anyone getting hit other than the normal state of affairs, on the thigh pad or on the gloves.

“They're going on about those bouncers that went flying over (from Nortje) — that was just terrible bowling on a fast, bouncy track.”

While delivering the moustachioed South African quick a backhander for losing his radar late, the formerly moustachioed captain stressed that the quality of both bowling attacks acted as the catalyst for the brief encounter.

“We've all played on pitches like that (at the Gabba). It was just the quality of bowling was there and the batsmen never really held sway," Border added.

“Talking about it being dangerous is just not on. It wasn't the case. It was difficult, but not dangerous.

“I'm not trying to justify it, but sometimes the rhetoric got a bit over the top about how bad it was. It was like it was the worst wicket ever produced.

“I just think, ‘give me a break'. It was difficult, but Travis Head didn't have too much trouble on day one.”

Australia leads the best-of-three series 1-0 with the next Test set to commence during the traditional Boxing Day timeslot at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.