Kagiso Rabada insisted he had let his team down once again following his one match suspension against England in the ongoing series. Rabada was handed one match suspension and docked 15 percent of his match fee after his over-the-top celebrations didn’t go well with the match officials.
A demerit point was added to his tally, which made it four points over a period of 24-months, leading to one match suspension. Rabada had pleaded guilty to the charges presented against him.
The paceman admitted he wasn’t expecting the ban for his over-the-top celebrations. "It's something that I didn't expect, whether it was the right thing to ban me or the wrong thing, the reality is that I am banned," Rabada said in a press conference [as quoted by Cricinfo].
"Obviously, it hurts, but I guess it gives me a chance to work on my game and gives me a chance to have a bit of a rest.
Rabada’s history of the ICC offences go back to 2018, when he was first charged for using provocative language after dismissing Shikhar Dhawan at Port Elizabeth. The other two incidents came against Australia in a Test match at the same venue, when he screamed in David Warner’s face and made a shoulder contact with Steven Smith.
"I mean, it can't keep happening, because I am letting the team down and I am letting myself down. It just can't keep happening, that is why it hurts so much."
South Africa now find themselves on the verge of losing the Test series after starting off well in the first Test at Centurion. England came back strongly at Newlands and Port Elizabeth, sealing an unbeatable 2-1 lead in the four Test series. The home side have now lost seven of their last eight Tests, which has left plenty of questions to be answered for the new management roped in before the start of this series.
"Not great (the mood), you know, we know haven't played well, it really does hurt us," he said. "Everyone in our change room, I am 100% sure, are strong characters, and we just need to bounce back. I think, mentally, we need to get into a clear space, so that when we get to Wanderers, we can really play without any second thoughts, and have a good idea about how we want to go about our situation."
As South Africa were on the verge of defeat in Port Elizabeth, the selectors decided to recall the likes of Temba Bavuma, Keegan Petersen, all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo and left-arm quick Beuran Hendricks for the final Test. Bavuma, who was left out of the squad after a series of average performances, was recalled after scoring an impressive 180 against the Dolphins for his Lions franchise.
Rabada feels getting these players back will bring good vibes in the squad and would help the home side in bid to draw the series.
"We were all together as a squad before the Centurion Test, there was a really good vibe," he added. "Those guys are coming back now, there's going to be good vibes again. We are familiar with everyone that was here in the squad, and now when they come back it's going to be like we are reunited. Yeah, it'll be good to finish off with the whole squad being around and finishing off with a win."