Rabada absence may tip scales in Australia's favour

Violet Powell
March 15, 2018

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis expressed his frustrations after pace bowler Kagiso Rabada was banned for the remainder of the ongoing Test series against Australia.

A series win for England could see them overtake New Zealand to take fourth position in the Test Team Rankings as the latter are just one point ahead at 100 points.

"I found that there was contact between Rabada and Smith‚ and in my judgment the contact by Rabada was inappropriate and deliberate‚" the ICC media release quoted match referee Jeff Crowe as saying.

The only sanction Kohli received was one demerit point and a 25% match-fee fine when he argued with the umpire about the ball being wet in the Centurion Test.

Mumbai:A contrite Kagiso Rabada admits he has let his team down after his two-Test suspension significantly weakened South Africa's chances of winning their home Test series against Australia. "But that's why I'm sitting as a player, not as an official".

"They should just let us play on, the cricket should be the main focus". Two or three years ago, that was the norm. Honestly, I didn't feel contact in that moment.

The always delicate - admittedly - balance between animated competitiveness and some sort of need for due decorum has sagged detrimentally to just one end of the see-saw, an event that may very well suck the all-important personality, if you like, out of the game ... and seemingly Test cricket, that very tenuous beast, in particular.

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) rejected Rabada's claim the contact with Smith was accidental.

Rabada is one of the most popular cricketers in South Africa, mainly for his major talent but also because he is a young black player in a sport focusing on bringing black players through to the national team to erase the legacy of apartheid. "It's good for the game of Test cricket", said du Plessis.

Du Plessis argued Test cricket is becoming too sanitised. For me, the small battles are important. That is KG running in for 15 overs trying to get someone out and eventually when he gets him out, he has to show that passion. "Otherwise you could just put a bowling machine and a robot to bat".

"It's a big series, there is a lot to play for".

Plenty of very decent bowlers never even took a 10-wicket haul in a Test match. Australia can not take any chances that their shoddy batsmen will have to face Rabada again in the Newlands Test, so they have already been working on a number of further charges to level at KG. "I don't know what is going to happen to him after this Test but if he is around for the next Test match I think he would have learnt from his mistakes", said de Villiers.

He added: "As I had said before this game, Rabada and (Mitchell) Starc would be the two bowlers to look out for and they would be the ones to get excessive reverse swing since they are exceptional bowlers".

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