Winning captain Faf du Plessis acknowledged the fact that AB de Villiers and Kagiso Rabada are currently playing at a different level altogether.
With their imperative performances, both KG and AB powered the hosts to a 6-wicket victory at St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth.
Rabada picked up 11 wickets in the match while AB de Villiers smashed his 22nd Test century with his unbeaten knock of 126.
“Serious character. My mind goes back to Dean and Hashim’s partnership where it was tough. The ball was reversing and if you have got a player like AB de Villiers in your side, you can then transfer that pressure back onto the opposition,” stated Faf du Plessis during the post-match presentation.
AB de Villiers’ knock single-handedly took the South African 1st innings total to 382, which helped them seize a match-winning 139 lead on a tricky pitch.
AB looked like he was batting on a different wicket: SA captain
“Absolute champion of a bowler Kagiso Rabada, really proud of him. They were in a different level this game [KG and AB]. AB looked like he was batting on a different wicket to all the other batters. Really good to see him in top form again, really really hungry,” continued the South African captain.
The win at PE opened up the series which is now tied at 1-1 with two games remaining. Further, Du Plessis singled out Mitchell Starc and Kagiso Rabada for being exceptional exponents of the reverse swing.
“There are two bowlers – Starc and Rabada who would get excessive reverse swing, exceptional bowlers. As a bowling unit we went to 2.8rpo, we knew if we keep this Australian batting quiet – that’s half the battle,” added SA’s number 5 batsman.
The ongoing series has been marred by controversies. Rabada’s nudge to Steve Smith post his dismissal earned him a Level 1 charge. KG already has 5 demerit points to his tally.the South Africans are looking at their pace spearhead sitting out of the rest of the series.
“It’s disappointing for the series. We would want the best players to play in the series, we will still challenge that to make sure he [Rabada] can still play a part in the series,” commented Faf Du Plessis on Rabada’s possible absence from the rest of the series.
On future of Test Cricket and Rabada’s suspension
Faf was all praises for his spearhead. The captain mentioned KG’s desire to run in hard for 15 overs in order to claim the wickets. So whenever he does, it is only natural for him to be buoyed by the celebration.
According to the captain, the future of Test cricket looks bleak if players like Rabada face suspension after clinching a wicket.
“People talk about the future of Test cricket. This, for me, is an important part of it. That’s KG running in for 15 overs trying to get someone out and eventually when he does, he has to show that passion. Otherwise, you could just put a bowling machine and a robot to bat,” concluded Du Plessis.