Vernon Philander says Kagiso Rabada will be a big loss to the Proteas’ bowling attack if he is banned for the remainder of the series against Australia.
Led by Rabada’s eighth career five-for, the Proteas bowled Australia out for 243.
Faf du Plessis looked the happier of the two captains at the toss after Steve Smith chose to bat first.
Rabada’s pace and reverse swing helped him end with figures of 5-96. But the 21-year-old could be in the headlines for the wrong reasons once again, after brushing shoulders with Smith following his dismissal of the Australia captain for 25.
The Proteas speedster is currently on five demerit points. If he is found guilty of the potential level two offence, he will receive three more demerit points to take him to a total of eight. This will mean a two-match ban which will rule him out for the rest of the series.
Philander refused to share too much on the incident.
‘It’s sport at the end of the day. It’s a lot of men out there and we are allowed to celebrate,’ said Philander. ‘Sometimes there’s a fine line where we could celebrate too hard, but it’s up to the match officials to make that call.
‘That’s for the ICC to sort out,’ he said about Rabada potentially facing a ban.
‘He would leave a massive hole in the side. He’s a big part of this bowling attack. But let’s hope that’s not the case and that we will have a full-pronged pace attack going to Cape Town.’
CSA confirmed that a verdict will be made on Saturday morning.
Philander got the Proteas started, taking the first two wickets and dismissing Cameron Bancroft and Usman Khawaja. But he credited Rabada for the outcome on day one.
‘We would have taken 243 at the start of the day,’ said Philander. ‘We started well this morning, probably lost it a wee bit after drinks by giving them too many boundaries.
‘The way the boys pulled it back after lunch was pretty special. All credit to KG for his efforts and the way he ran in all day.’
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