Qantas Tour of South Africa

Rabada will learn, like I did: Starc

Australia spearhead heaps praise on young South Africa star and says he will learn from his latest incident


14 March 2018, 08:18 PM AEST

Watching South Africa spearhead Kagiso Rabada swing the ball both ways at express pace is a sight to behold, even for his opposite number Mitchell Starc.

Australians Starc, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Darren Lehmann and Brad Haddin have heaped praise on Rabada's ability following the 22-year-old's match-winning haul of 11-150 in the second Test.

Rabada's two-Test suspension has boosted Australia's hopes of triumphing in the four-Test series, currently level at 1-1.

Rabada banned as Proteas level the series

The touring batsmen no longer have to face the world's top-ranked Test bowler in Cape Town next week, barring an appeal from Cricket South Africa and the intervention of a judicial commissioner.

It has also robbed the series of a significant protagonist.

Starc and Rabada's contest within a contest and their devastating reverse-swing spells have been highlights of the first two Tests.

"He's only young and made a couple of mistakes," Starc said, himself a fiery customer who was booked for a series of code-of-conduct violations in the early stages of his career.

"He's a fantastic bowler to watch when he's in full flight and he's going to keep taking wickets and keep celebrating.

"What's he got now, four 10-fors? Dale (Steyn) has got five in a crapload more Test matches.

"I'm sure he'll learn going forward that you just can't get that close to the batter and the umps are going to be on you at all times.

"It's very much a no-no ... which I've learnt in the past."

Day four wrap: Rabada's six lead Proteas to victory

Captain Smith and coach Lehmann insisted they took no delight in Rabada's ban, which is expected to result in a recall for Morne Morkel.

Lehmann noted "it's never good seeing fantastic bowlers out of series", while Smith suggested he always wants to "go up against the best players as much as you can".

Marsh, dismissed twice by Rabada at St George's Park, can't remember ever facing better bowling.

There is no doubting Rabada's potency. He has now claimed 135 wickets at a strike-rate of 38.9, the best strike-rate of any current Test bowler.

There is also a quality to the quantity.

Rabada's first-innings dismissal of Smith and second-innings dismissal of David Warner in Port Elizabeth, the two key scalps that triggered spirited send-offs, are prime examples of when he has delivered at clutch moments.

Watch: A history of Rabada's demerit points

"He took it on himself there to get the big wicket of Davey ... he really understands how to set up a batsman. For someone so young that's quite impressive," Australia's fielding coach Haddin said.

"It will be interesting to see how he comes back after that (ban), because he'll be hurting.

"This is their big series and now he's got to sit back and watch what's going on out there."

Qantas tour of South Africa

South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada.

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.

Warm-up match: Australia beat South Africa A by five wickets. Report, highlights

First Test Australia won by 118 runs. Scorecard

Second Test South Africa won by six wickets. Scorecard

Third Test Newlands, Cape Town, March 22-26. Live coverage

Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3. Live coverage