South Africa’s Dean Elgar said that there will be plenty of talk between the Proteas and Australia in the upcoming third Test that starts on March 22 with or without Kagiso Rabada. Rabada has appealed against a ban that he received for crossing the threshold of eight demerit points after a shoulder push to Australian captain Steve Smith.
“Having him in the side is massive for us, massive for the game and massive for the format, because KG is such a special cricketer,” Elgar told reporters on Monday. “But there are rules that are implemented for certain instances. As cricketers we respect that, if he is good to go for the third Test it will be good for us and good for the game.”
Rabada appealed against the Level 2 sanction on him that led to his ban in a hearing that reportedly stretched over six hours. The result of the hearing is expected to be declared on Wednesday.
Elgar does not expect the intensity of the series to die down. The two Test matches that have been played so far has seen its fair share of incidents and sanctions on players, including a fracas between Australia vice captain David Warner and South Africa’s Quinton de Kock. “There has been a lot of niggle from both sides, but it is what you expect when you play quality opposition,” Elgar said.”The intensity should be there, that is what makes this format so special in my eyes. I am also one to give it out a bit in all the right measurements.”
South African pacer Vernon Philander had recently entered the fray stating that Steve Smith was “just as guilty” for the shoulder push incident that led to Rabada’s appeal. “Pity he didn’t dive to top it off,” the tweet said. Philander later said that his account had been hacked and that the tweet was not made by him but Australia’s Colin Bancroft said that the visitors will be using that as sledging arsenal.
“He will take it in his stride as Vern always does,” said Elgar, “He is quite a relaxed human being but on the field he is as competitive as anyone else. He is going to expect that they will come out and say something to him.”