Qantas Tour of South Africa

Rabada sweats on ban after lengthy hearing

South African quick has pleaded his case with match referee over Smith collision as teammates warn he must be 'smarter'

Callum Kanoniuk at St George's Park, PE

12 March 2018, 09:32 AM AEST

Rabada goes again with Warner send-off

South African veteran AB de Villiers says star quick Kagiso Rabada needs to be "smarter" after another fiery wicket celebration on day three of the second Test in Port Elizabeth.

Rabada could find himself in hot water again with the ICC after he claimed the key wicket of opener David Warner early in Australia's second innings and unleashed a passionate roar in the direction of the dismissed batter as they crossed paths mid-pitch.

The latest send-off comes just two days after the 22-year-old brushed shoulders with Australia captain Steve Smith in the first innings – an incident that saw him charged with a Level 2 offence under the ICC Code of Conduct for "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player".

Rabada faced a hearing with match referee Jeff Crowe at St George's Park after play on Sunday and the paceman will need to convince Crowe that the contact was accidental if he is to escape a two-Test ban that would rule him out for the remainder of the series.

Smith talks through Rabada's rapid spell

The hearing spanned almost an hour as Crowe heard Rabada's side of events. Umpire Kumar Dharmasena, Proteas captain Faf du Plessis and team manager Mohammed Moosajee were also present.

Crowe now has 24 hours to arrive at a decision regarding one of Rabada's two send-offs that have marred the ongoing match at St George's Park.

De Villiers, speaking to the media after a bringing up a sparkling hundred on day three, believes the pace spearhead will have learned his lesson should he overturn the charge.

"He's got to be smarter and he knows that," said de Villiers.

"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."

Watch: A history of Rabada's demerit points

De Villiers believes a way of curbing the behaviour that has seen Rabada rack up five demerit points – prior to this Test – in the space of 13 months, could be for the other Proteas players to intervene before the fired-up quick makes it down the other end to the dismissed batter.

"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."

Rabada has been the standout bowler in the series so far with 12 wickets at an average of 19.66 and the young firebrand again proved just how valuable he is with the key wickets of Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja to bookend the evening session on day three.

Day three wrap: AB, Rabada put SA in front

A two-Test suspension would leave a significant hole in South Africa's bowling attack, but de Villiers said the Proteas had some sympathy for their spearhead. 

"I won't say we're frustrated," de Villiers responded when asked about the feeling of the team in regard to Rabada's celebrations.

"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.

Brilliant de Villiers notches ton, swings contest

"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."

Rabada's disciplinary history

Feb 2017: Inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with Sri Lanka's Niroshan Dickwella. Three demerit points and fined 50 per cent of match fee.

July 2017: Used inappropriate language after dismissing England allrounder Ben Stokes. One demerit point and fined 15 per cent of match fee.Suspended one Test.

Feb 2018: Using language which could provoke an aggressive reaction from another player in send-off of India batsman Shikhar Dhawan. One demerit point and fined 15 per cent of match fee.

Mar 2018: Level-two charge for making physical contact with Steve Smith during a spirited send-off. Expected to have argued it was not "deliberate" at a hearing. Later in same Test, screamed in David Warner's face after dismissing the opener on day three. Possibly will be charged.

Qantas tour of South Africa

South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada.

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.

Warm-up match: Australia beat South Africa A by five wickets. Report, highlights

First Test Australia won by 118 runs. Scorecard

Second Test St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, March 9-13. Live coverage

Third Test Newlands, Cape Town, March 22-26. Live coverage

Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3. Live coverage