Rabada absence may tip scales in Australia's favour

Randolph Lopez
March 15, 2018

Star South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada was banned for the rest of the series against Australia on Monday after being found guilty of two charges of misconduct for aggressive wicket celebrations in the second test in Port Elizabeth.

Rabada was named the man of the match after claiming 11 wickets in South Africa's comfortable second Test win in Port Elizabeth.

SECOND TEST 1. Kagiso Rabada found guilty of level-two offence, having made "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact" with Steve Smith during a send-off.

After almost two full Test matches Australia's bowlers finally found a way to get out AB de Villiers, but from the moment Mitchell Marsh dropped a sitter from Aiden Markram off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood, it was clear the visitors were never a hope of defending the slender target they had set South Africa to win.

Fresh off his incredible man of the match performance in Port Elizabeth, Kagiso Rabada has reclaimed top spot among bowlers in the latest ICC Test rankings. South Africa, extraordinarily, haven't yet won a home Test series against Australia since readmission, and 2/1 says that they aren't about to do so this time around. For me they are not. Honestly, I didn't feel contact in that moment.

" It was a short flick of two players and you'd [hope to] get one or two demerit points as a slap on the wrist because it wasn't full-body contact".

Du Plessis added that he is concerned Test cricket will be nothing more than a "bowling machine out there and a robot to bat" if the International Cricket Council (ICC) continue to penalise players for wearing their hearts on their sleeves.

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"They should just let us play on, the cricket should be the main focus".

I'm in the camp of the at least partially neutral Kevin Pietersen: "It's Test cricket". The final two matches in the series will be played in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Rabada's current-day actions seem positively mundane and innocuous in comparison, and the incident that really triggered the two-game sit-out bizarrely - at least to me - also seemed among the more sterile on his own "list".

This comes as he still awaits the outcome of his hearing on Sunday night for a Level 2 offence after he "brushed" the shoulder of Australian captain Steve Smith on Friday.

The South African team said it was considering whether to appeal Rabada's ban. In comparison, Dale Steyn has five 10-wicket hauls but in 86 test matches.

"If I do get banned I will have to see it as a big learning curve and not repeat the same mistake because I've repeated the same mistake in the eyes of the umpires".

It still bewilders me how up to seven or eight overs of a scheduled 90-overs day in the Test arena can just "go missing" to the paying public, often without any significant punitive and correctional measure involved.

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