Sandton: Cricket South Africa’s director of cricket Graeme Smith said Kagiso Rabada is the poster boy of the side and has been dealing with a lot of pressure on his shoulders.
Rabada, the front-line pacer of the Proteas bowling attack, was reprimanded by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his over-the-top celebration after picking up Root’s wicket last week and as a result, he would be missing the fourth Test match against England, which begins on Friday.
He was also fined 15 per cent of his match fee and received one demerit point after being found guilty of a Level 1 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct for players and player support personnel.
“He is a poster boy and we need to develop more poster boys. Too much has been put on his shoulders as well. He is on every ad, playing every game, he is carrying the can. If he doesn’t perform well, we are in trouble,” Smith said.
According to Smith, it is good that Rabada is rested as he was playing back-to-back games. The director wants others players from the team to step up and take the responsibilities on their shoulders.
“I think it’s a good thing he is being rested in this series, we need to see some other people step up and start filling that void and taking some pressure off him. Maybe that will help as well,” Smith said.
During the first day of the third Test match, Rabada dismissed Root, and he celebrated in a very vocal manner. He was also seen getting too close to the batsman.
“It’s learning how to channel that emotion in the moment, when your adrenalin is pumping and you have put in the hard work,” Smith added.
England lead the four-match series 2-1 and the final match of the series will be played at Wanderers Stadium.