South Africa vs Australia | Faf du Plessis questions Kagiso Rabada suspension

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South Africa vs Australia | Faf du Plessis questions Kagiso Rabada suspension

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SportsCafe Desk

03/13/2018

Faf du Plessis has questioned the ICC on their decision to hand Kagiso Rabada a two-match ban stating that David Warner’s offense was a more serious one than the committed by his compatriot. Du Plessis also added that the Proteas had no problems in countering the Australian brand of cricket.

After Rabada, who took 11 wickets in the match, guided the Proteas to a commanding victory over Australia in Port Elizabeth, the pacer was handed a two-match suspension for intentional contact with Steve Smith on Day 1 of the Test. While the replays suggested that the contact was minimal, the ICC saw fit to hand the Proteas star three demerit points, which ensured that he would miss the rest of the series. 

This, however, was not the first high profile incident of the series as a tussle between David Warner and Quinton de Kock during the first Test had seen the Aussie receive the same punishment. Du Plessis, though, believes that the Aussie’s reaction was a much more serious one and there was no way the two incidents deserved the same punishment.

"The charge against KG is a level 2 with three demerit points, and the charge against Davey is a level 2 with three demerit points. For me, if you look at those incidents, one is brushing of the shirt, the other is a lot more aggressive. My question was: why are both these incidents labeled the same? For me they are not. The contact (between Rabada and Smith) was very minimal, it was a shirt flick of two players and you would get one or two demerit points as a slap on the wrist because it wasn't full body contact. But that's where I'm sitting as a player, not as an official," du Plessis said, reported Cricbuzz.

"For me it's just about looking at the context of the series, and it's crucial that you have the best players playing. For us it's about proving that what KG did... they call it body contact, we would say it is a shirt being brushed or it was not deliberate. As the match referee mentioned, there are bigger things at play here, that's why he didn't ban Davey Warner and make it a level three offence because it's a series between two big teams. I just asked the same question."

The South African skipper raised an even more important discussion about the direction in which Test cricket is heading. Test cricket has seen a huge dip in interest following the introduction, and acceptance, of T20 cricket and the cricketing bodies are trying to come up with new ways of popularising the format.

With too many questions being asked about sledging, and opinions divided on the issue, the South African skipper said that his side had no problem with it while adding that it was good for the game.

"I think we're just going too far on the sensitive side, because every incident on the cameras is: 'Did you see that? Did you see that? Did you see that?' It's Test cricket. We as a team have got no issues with the way the Australian team play their brand of cricket. It's good for the game of Test cricket," du Plessis remarked.

"People talk about where is the future of Test cricket. This, for me, is an important part of Test cricket - the battles that you face. That is KG [Rabada] 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."

When asked about whether he thought that there was a chance that Rabada’s challenge might end up changing the ICC’s mind, he replied, "Our strike rate is 0% at the moment with trying to challenge these cases," he admitted with a smile. "It will probably stay at 0% (after the Rabada case). I don't think there is a big turnover when it comes to (challenging) these things."

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