Kagiso Rabada says he will have to learn from the incident in Port Elizabeth that saw him receive a two-match ban.
Rabada was named Man of the Match after helping the Proteas claim a six-wicket win to level the series 1-1.
The 22-year-old was superb, ripping through Australia. He ended with match figures of 11-150, the best in a clash between the Proteas and Australia post-isolation, and South Africa’s second-best match figures ever after Hugh Tayfield’s 13-165 in Melbourne in 1956.
Rabada also has drawn level with Makhaya Ntini for the second-most 10-wicket hauls for South Africa, one behind Dale Steyn, who has five.
He also currently has the best (lowest) strike rate (38.8) of someone with a minimum of 120 wickets.
Sadly, Rabada will miss the rest of the series after he was found guilty of making contact with Steve Smith on day one after he had dismissed Australia’s captain.
Rabada said the Proteas’ win in PE was ‘bittersweet’ for him considering he would miss the rest of the series.
‘I would have loved to be playing in the next game. Especially coming off a performance like that, I felt really good in this Test match. I let the team down. However, I feel that it gives me the chance to do other things.
‘It gives me the chance to improve my game, to think about things more. We have some quality bowlers as well. [Chris] Morris, who didn’t play, is a quality bowler and will [be called] up for Newlands.’
The speedster made it clear that there are flaws in the demerit system but that he also needs to learn from his mistakes.
‘There’s a lot of grey areas as well. But the rules are the rules,’ said Rabada.
‘That’s the reason we went to the hearing, because we believe that there’s not a lot of consistency. If I knew I had done it deliberately, then I would not have gone to contest [the charge].
‘But honestly, I never even felt contact at that moment [with Smith], because I was so pumped up. I never felt contact at all.
‘It’s the same with the [Ben] Stokes incident at Lord’s. I never tried to appeal that one because I knew that I did it. It’s going to need to stop because I’m letting the team down. I’m also letting myself down.
‘I won’t change the way I express myself, I will just stay as far away from the batter.
‘I have to move forward. If I do get banned, I have to see it as a big learning curve and make sure I don’t repeat the same mistake because I repeated the same mistake in the eyes of the umpires. I’m not happy about it.’
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