Aussie speedster Mitchell Starc feels that the availability of Kagiso Rabada will shape the condition for the 3rd Test between Australia and South Africa. He has been handed a two-Test suspension. However, they have appealed against the level two charge of “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with” Aussie skipper Steve Smith during the 2nd Test. He has been involved in several banters in his career so far. Meanwhile, the hearing on that particular incident will take place on Monday.

The fast bowler’s screaming sends off to Smith overshadowed the brilliant spell which he bowled in the previous Test. He finished with sensational figures of 11/150 to help the hosts level the four-match series 1-1. In all likelihood, Rabada’s availability will influence the 3rd Test which is scheduled to start at the Newlands in Cape Town from Thursday. Starc feels that Rabada’s likely absence from the next two matches will result in less reverse swing and more lateral seam movement.

ICC Test Rankings Mitchell Starc
Australia’s Mitchell Starc has seen a significant rise in the bowlers’ rankings in Tests. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

“They could change away from that the reverse swing without Rabada there. Conditions might change and the wickets might be a little bit different for the last two Tests. If Rabada’s not playing, there might be a little more sideways movement with the newer ball for someone like (Vernon) Philander or Morne (Morkel), which obviously brings Josh (Hazlewood) or Pat (Cummins) into the mix as well,” Starc is quoted as saying by the reporters.

Starc clarified that he is a certain starter for the 3rd Test despite appearing sore during the final innings in the 2nd Test at Port Elizabeth.

“The footmarks were a bit uncomfortable; (33.4) overs in the first innings takes a bit of a toll on the body. All good, though – we’ve got a fair few days off,” he said.

If Rabada is ruled out from the 3rd Test, there will be temptations from the home team to request a well-grassed wicket especially with Vernon Philander being part of the playing XI. Ricky Ponting regarded Philander as the hardest bowler he has faced when conditions suit him. However, Starc backed his bowlers to come good in all conditions and better the Proteas bowlers.

“We’ve got an attack that is pretty well rounded and complement each other really well. We’re just going to have to adapt to the conditions that are put in front of us. Patty’s going to keep thumping them in there and attacking them and being very aggressive. I thought we bowled pretty well (in the second Test), probably as consistent as we have been for a long time,” Starc said.

Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada was on fire in the second Test at Port Elizabeth. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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