'Going too far': Why the South Africans aren't happy after second Test

A major problem for South Africa is that Rabada, the team's No. 1 strike bowler, may be banned for those decisive last two tests after he was charged with misconduct for bumping into Australia captain Steve Smith after getting him out in the first innings in Port Elizabeth.

Rabada put in a match-winning performance as South Africa levelled the four-match series 1-1 and it was the 22-year-old's 11 wickets that propelled him back to the top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings of test bowlers. It has 48 hours to decide on a possible appeal, the team said, although captain Faf du Plessis admitted he was not confident an appeal would be successful. He works bloody hard. "For me, if you look at those incidents, one is brushing of the shirt, the other is a lot more aggressive". For me they are not.

The express paceman was found guilty of inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with Steve Smith in Port Elizabeth, having brushed the batsman's shoulder in a send-off. "I just like to bowl wherever the team requires me to and set my own aspirations aside".

Du Plessis went on to add that the mini battles in the middle will be only good for the survival of Test cricket.

While Rabada contested the level two charge on the basis that the contact with Smith was accidental, du Plessis made a separate point when he attended the hearing with his player. "I just asked the same question".

Nathan Lyon got off lightly, by contrast, for his contemptuous "ball drop" incident on (OK, Australians, next to!) a sprawled AB de Villiers, as did Mitch Marsh for his again fairly novel expletives to Rabada as a departing batsman in the second innings of the Port Elizabeth Test.

"There are a lot of grey areas [in the rules]".

Those are the odds on the 2-2 series draw, which is understandably the bookies' favourite after two matches of vastly fluctuating fortunes. "I'll just get far away from the batter".

"So, I would assume if it was a normal situation, you could say that the contact was very, very minimal. I was just so pumped up".

But the celebrations were short-lived for the Proteas, who levelled the series at 1-1, after they found out Rabada had been suspended following two incidents in this Test that sent his existing demerit points into the red zone. The Test cricket I grew up playing - my first series was against Australia - was a real eye-opener and to hear all the things I was called. "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.

Sharing his view on the matter, Du Plessis was quoted by foxsports.com.au as saying: "For me, the way KG plays the game, he is a competitive fast bowler". I am not happy about it but time moves on.

  • Joey Payne