South Africa captain Faf du Plessis believes it is "important for the game" that Kagiso Rabada does not miss the rest of the Test series with Australia through suspension.
Rabada faced a hearing on Sunday after he made contact with Steve Smith following his dismissal of the Australia skipper on the opening day of the second Test, while he has since been reported for yells directed at David Warner on the third day.
With the 22-year-old just one demerit point away from a potential two-match suspension, Du Plessis is desperate not to lose a star bowler who delivered 11 wickets in a comfortable second Test win.
"It's disappointing for the series," he said of Rabada's hearing. "You want your best players playing in the series - similar was said about David [after his clash with Quentin de Kock in Durban].
"We will still challenge that to make sure that he can still play a part in the series. It's important for the game."
After Australia cruised to victory in Durban, Du Plessis was delighted by his side's response in Port Elizabeth as AB de Villiers starred and the Proteas levelled the series.
"[We showed] serious character," he said. "We played a really good round of cricket. There were periods of the game in which we absorbed [pressure] really well.
"My mind goes back to Dean [Elgar] and Hashim [Amla]'s partnership. We just needed the two of them to absorb a little bit and make sure that the Aussie bowlers' tanks got a bit lower.
"Then if you have a player like AB de Villiers in your side, you can transfer the pressure back onto them.
"In all four days, we were in a position of strength. That's a great turnaround from the previous Test, where it was the opposite."
And Rabada was delighted to see his hard work pay off as he collected the man of the match award on Monday.
"I'm glad - I put in the preparation and things happened for me in this Test," he added.
"[The length is] something that needs to be on point when playing against good batters. That's what we prepared for before the game and I'm glad that it came off."
23 de marzo 2018
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