Australia won't bait Rabada in third Test, says Smith

Lynette Rowe
March 22, 2018

The South Africa pace bowler Kagiso Rabada can play in the final two cricket tests against Australia after he won an appeal to have his series ban reduced. He was previously found guilty of inappropriate wicket celebrations on three occasions before this series and served a one-test ban in England past year.

He had received a fine of 50 per cent of his match fee and three demerit points after a disciplinary hearing following his denial of the charge.

An accumulation of eight demerit points within a two-year period automatically results in a two-Test ban.

Australian spin bowler Nathan Lyon said his side had "no dramas" with the decision to clear Rabada and were looking forward to facing him again.

Smith last month floated the idea of trying to provoke Rabada and it wouldn't be a major surprise if the tourists adopt that tactic at Newlands.

That made Smith's answer ring hollow when he was asked if he was anxious that Warner would cross the line again: "I saw Faf mention before the last test match that they might try bait him. I am not "comfortably satisfied" that Rabada meant to make contact and I therefore find him not guilty of the charge under 2.2.7", he said.

"I certainly won't be telling my bowlers to go out there and after you take a wicket go and get in their space".

Moosajee told the media at Newlands on Tuesday: "There were definitely key learnings for everyone and I think it will stimulate healthy debate and it might even allow for people to sit around a table".

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"He's been made very much aware of his on-field celebration; I don't want to say "behaviour" because it's not bad behaviour, he's just very excited and exhuberant sometimes".

"'You saw yesterday, he came out and I had to nearly force him to warm up because all he wanted to do was get stuck in with his teammates". What's the point of over-celebrating? And getting in the face of a batter, you've already won the battle.

Du Plessis also saw no reason for Smith to have been called into the hearing since the Australian batsman had not been charged for the incident.

Smith said it was "interesting" he had not been asked for his version of events and said Crowe had reason to be annoyed about his judgement being questioned. "We want to see the game played with skill, passion and respect for the opposition, the match officials and the laws". "It was interesting the way things played out and that he was able to get the charge brought down with an appeal".

Smith said he may seek out Pycroft for a further discusssion to discuss the fall-out of the Rabada decision.

After taking nine wickets in the first Test in Durban, Mitchell Starc could only manage match figures of 1 for 125 in Port Elizabeth, and the possibility of extra grass on the pitch at Newlands could make it challenging for him to find reverse swing.

"I had to nearly force him to warm up because all he wanted to do was get stuck in and be with his teammates".

South Africa's chances of winning the test series were boosted by the availability of Rabada, who had a two-game suspension overturned on appeal by independent Judicial Commissioner Michael Heron on Tuesday.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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