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Rabada: I have to tone down my aggression

13 March 2018

It meant the pacer had accumulated nine demerit points within a two-year period, which automatically triggers a two-match ban.

Incidentally, he won the man-of-the-match award after his 11-wicket haul helped South Africa level the series 1-1 at the half-way stage of the four-match series.

Certainly it was Rabada who lit up the morning session at St George's Park. "I can't keep doing this because I'm letting the team down and I'm also letting myself down", he told reporters after starring in the six-wicket win.

"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. I'm not happy about it, (but) time moves on".

A sort of "let's make (and maintain) a toxic climate so we can drag Rabada, who is sitting on previous, over the ledge".

Rabada has accepted a second charge under 2.1.7 of the code - using language, actions or gestures which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batsman upon his or her dismissal.

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Kagiso Rabada has found an eloquent backer in his captain Faf du Plessis.

Rabada was suspended for one Test against England last summer following an altercation with Ben Stokes.

It's the halfway point of the four-Test series between Australia and South Africa, but there's already been a spate of controversial incidents.

Du Plessis called the shoulder nudge between Rabada and Smith as a "shirt flick" and said that the contact there was "very, very minimal".

His 22nd century overall puts him one ahead of Gary Kirsten and gives him fourth position outright on South Africa's all-time list with only Kallis, Amla and Graeme Smith ahead of him.

The Australians are convinced that if they can't get Kagiso on the first two technical charges, then surely this one is watertight.

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Rabada does not come from hardship, though. Australia has been dominant in South Africa since the end of apartheid. He was picked for stardom while still a teenager.

In a fractious series so far (though many of us remain relatively chilled about that, I suspect ... it's SA v Australia), did Rabada really warrant the savage extent of his punishment, in relation to some of the other acts of baiting disrespect evident on the field of combat?

"It should be about the cricket, Australia played great cricket in the first Test and in this Test we've produced some excellent stuff and the unbelievable performances of KG and AB de Villiers".

Australia allrounder Mitchell Marsh was also found guilty of swearing at Rabada during the fourth day's play on Monday and received a demerit point.

While Steyn would have been a welcome addition to the squad in Rabada's absence, his availability hinged on whether he was able to play for the Titans in their Sunfoil Series fixture that starts on Thursday. This left the Proteas to chase down 101 runs for victory.

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Rabada: I have to tone down my aggression