Kagiso Rabada more careful with his celebrations
After a dramatic cricket series that saw his ban for physical contact with former Australian captain Steve Smith overturned‚ Kagiso “KG” Rabada has learned to be more careful with his celebrations.
Rabada‚ who was named the player of the series against Australia‚ was charged with a level two breach of the ICC's code of conduct after the second Test in Port Elizabeth but the ban was overturned after his lawyer Dali Mpofu argued in a six-hour hearing that he did not deliberately make contact with Smith’s shoulder in the fiery send-off.
Reflecting on South Africa’s victorious 3-1 series‚ where he finished as the top wicket taker with 23 scalps after eight innings‚ Rabada said he will think hard about his celebrations because he does not want to be banned.
“I never actually always celebrated the way I did with Smith‚ it was just in the moment‚" he said.
"At times I celebrate casually but sometimes in the big moment you can’t control emotions.
"I have made an effort not to get banned.
"You really need to think about what you do in a passionate moment‚” said the number one-ranked Test bowler.
“You never stop learning in terms of skill and other stuff‚ you keep on gaining experience.
"You always look at things you should have done otherwise but I guess the things off the field teach you a big lesson about moving on.
"You need to think about your actions and I have taken some important lessons.”
Rabada‚ whose 23 wickets came at an economy rate of 3.14‚ said the best moments for him in the series were the way they came back stronger after losing in Durban and taking the wicket of Smith‚ which got him in trouble with authorities.
“After we lost in Durban‚ it would have been easy for us to disintegrate and not be connected‚" he said.
"How we stayed in the fight was my favourite moment.
"That’s why we are sitting here victorious.
"We could have been scared and even though we lost the match‚ the guys were upbeat and we know that we will beat them.
"The Steve Smith wicket was one of my highlights because we were behind at that stage leading to the wicket after lunch and we needed the spark.
"After that wicket‚ that’s when the moment started moving in our favour.”
He also praised Vernon Philander who took six of the seven wickets that fell on the final day to end up with highly impressive figures of 6/21.
“I have seen Vern (Philander) do it a lot of times and (on Tuesday) morning it was an exhibition.
"I have learned a lot from him because he is a genius at what he does.
"He keeps it simple‚ he willingly does what he wants with the ball and it explains why the commentators have been calling him the sergeant.”