New Delhi: South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada could be banned for two Test matches if match referee Jeff Crowe feels that the pacer’s move to brush shoulders with Australia skipper Steve Smith in the ongoing Test was intentional. While Rabada had an hour long hearing with Crowe in the presence of umpire Kumar Dharmasena, skipper Faf du Plessis and team manager Mohammed Moosajee, AB de Villiers feels the pacer needs to get smarter.
“He’s got to be smarter and he knows that,” said de Villiers at the end of Day 3. “I don’t know what is going to happen to him after this Test but if he is around for the next Test match I think he would have learned from his mistakes.
"There was a lot of emotion from that last Test match going into this one and once again as a fast bowler you want to prove things to people and you want to show everyone you belong on this stage.”
The former skipper feels that it is also for the senior players in the team to control him and help him not cross the line when it comes to celebrations.
“I think it’s up to some of our senior guys to just help him,” de Villiers said. “It’s important to some of the players to get around him before he close to a batter to tell him ‘you know what? I just got you out’.
"That’s what it basically comes down to except with more emotion. He wants to tell him ‘I just won that battle’. I would’ve been the same. You see me when I take a good catch and it’s a big wicket … thank goodness I’m not close to the batter because I think I’ll do the same thing.”
Getting suspended for two games would mean that the tearaway pacer would miss the rest of the Test series and the batsman feels that it is not the most ideal situation.
“I won’t say we’re frustrated. I can’t speak for him, I just have a lot of sympathy. I’m not a bowler but I can’t imagine being a bowler, having to toil out there, run in, it’s hard on the body, it’s hard on the mind.
"You get a breakthrough and you just want to celebrate and that’s his way. Obviously, he’s crossed the line a couple of times and I think he’s regretting that.
"But I’m glad I’m not a bowler because I reckon I would’ve been worse than him. I struggled to breathe and my legs went numb. Dale (Steyn), when he’s on fire, you don’t even understand what’s going on in that mind, you just see eyes and all sorts of stuff.
"Luckily for him he’s never sort of crossed that line. But I think it’s because we get to him. We’ll try and get to KG before he does the damage,” he signed off.