Australia captain Steve Smith says they won’t target Kagiso Rabada during the third Test at Newlands.
The 22-year-old Rabada recently had a two-match suspension overturned, but still remains one indiscretion away from a ban.
Speaking to journalists at Newlands on Wednesday, Smith said they will focus on the cricket for the remainder of the series.
‘If he wants to carry on and make mistakes, then so be it. But we’re going to play the game as we’ve played it and hopefully try and go 2-1 up in the series,’ said the Australia captain.
Smith also mentioned they would not adopt a tit-for-tat approach after Proteas captain Faf du Plessis said ahead of the second Test that they would look into baiting David Warner, who, like Rabada, is also one wrong move away from a suspension.
‘I saw Faf mention before the last Test match that they might try and bait him [Warner]. If they want to play like that, they can go for it, but we certainly won’t be doing the same thing with Rabada.
‘Both are now just one indiscretion away from a ban, but we won’t be playing like that,’ he said.
‘For us, it’s about playing the game the way we’ve always played it. We’ll speak out in the middle, but we won’t do anything to antagonise him to make the same mistakes.
‘It’s up to him if he wants to make those errors.’
Since the second Test, the Aussie skipper has come under fire on social media. Many sportsmen might feel the need to not pay too much attention to the things being said, but not Smith.
‘I read everything, so I know everything that’s going on,’ joked Smith.
‘It doesn’t bother me. I like to know what’s happening. If people are having a go at me, I use that as motivation. If they’re talking nice things about me, that’s nice too.
‘Either way, it doesn’t matter to me. I just go out and do what I need to do, and keep the boys in a good space to play good cricket.’
The third Test at Newlands in Cape Town is scheduled to begin at 10:30 on Thursday.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images