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‘Rabada bumped me harder than it actually looked’ says Steve Smith

Kagiso Rabada was allowed to continue for the rest of the series vs Australia after his two-match suspension was reversed.

Steve Smith was involved in the infamous incident in the second Test against South Africa which resulted in Kagiso Rabada getting a two-Test suspension. That decision, however, was later overturned following an appeal. This, Smith believes, has set a troubling standard and precedent for the game. He also suggested that Cricket Australia will reconsider their policy of not challenging charges handed out by ICC match referees in the aftermath of the incident.

Australia captain Steve Smith, speaking at Cape Town ahead of the third Test, was quoted as saying that there was now a ‘line in the sand’ with regard to on-field physical contact.

“I certainly think he (Rabada) bumped me a little bit harder than it actually looked on the footage,” Smith was quoted by as telling told reporters at Newlands.

“It didn’t bother me too much. I guess the emotion after you get out you don’t really …. He’s won the battle.

“What’s the point of over-celebrating? And getting in the face of a batter, you’ve already won the battle.

“But they’ve obviously decided what’s deliberate contact and what’s not and apparently it wasn’t.”

“The ICC has set the standard, haven’t they?” Smith added. “There was clearly contact out in the middle. I certainly won’t be telling my bowlers to go out there and after you take a wicket go and get in their space.

“I don’t think that is on and part of the game. But the standard has been set,” Smith was quoted as saying.

The third Test in the series begins on Thursday at Newlands where incoming match referee Andy Pycroft could have his hands full.

ICC Test Rankings: Kagiso Rabada Tops the List & Ashwin climbs Two steps up

Kagiso Rabada regained the top spot and Ravichandran Ashwin moved up two spots in the newly released ICC Test rankings. Australia, England and New Zealand are in contention of winning the riches for a third or fourth spot finish as India and South Africa are guaranteed the top two spots.

Kagiso Rabada’s match-winning figures of 11/150 in the second Test against Australia not only gave South Africa a series-levelling win but also gave the pacer the number one spot in the ICC Test rankings for bowlers. The South African displaced England’s James Anderson and now has 902 points to his name. He has now become the fourth South African to cross the 900 points mark in the rankings with the other three being  Vernon Philander (912 points in 2013), Shaun Pollock (909 in 1999) and Dale Steyn (909 in 2014).

Apart from Rabada, India’s Ravichandran Ashwin moved up by two spots to spot at the fourth position as Josh Hazlewood dropped points following his team’s defeat at the hands of the Proteas. Another Indian Ravindra Jadeja maintained his third spot in the rankings with 844 points.

The batsmen’s list did not see too much of a change at the top as the list was headed by Steve Smith followed by Virat Kohli in second. Cheteshwar Pujara managed to maintain his sixth spot in the rankings. With 225 runs in the series so far, AB de Villiers moved up five places to be ranked 7th in the world.

With the win in the second Test match, SA has guaranteed themselves a second spot finish before the April 3 deadline which will earn them USD 500,000 cash prize. With India in the 1st Position, they are guaranteed USD 1 million as prize money.

Now England, Australia, and New Zealand will have the 3rd and 4th spots up for grabs that could earn them  USD 200,000 and USD 100,000 for reaching the third and fourth spot respectively.

A series win for England would guarantee them a fourth spot finish while a series win for New Zealand would cement their fourth spot. If New Zealand win the series and Australia lost their ongoing one 3-1, then New Zealand would overtake Australia in the third spot. Lastly, Australia either need to win or draw the series against SA to guarantee themselves a third spot finish before the deadline.

Courtesy: Cricket Cafe

Virat Kohli uploads Pic With Hardik Pandya, Says Excited About Second Test

Kohli failed to deliver in the Indian batting challenge while chasing a mediocre target in the Newlands Test.

Virat Kohli-led Team India will aim to make it 1-1 when they face an upbeat South Africa in the second Test starting January 13 at Super Sport Park in Centurion. Virat Kohli took to Twitter and posted a picture with all-rounder Hardik Pandya and wrote: “Touchdown Joburg, what a City! Gearing up for the next one and very excited about it.”

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Touchdown Joburg, what a City!👌🏼<br>Gearing up for the next one and very excited about it. <a href=””></a></p>&mdash; Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) <a href=””>January 10, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Kohli failed to deliver in the Indian batting challenge while chasing a mediocre target in the Newlands Test.

Chasing a 208-run target, Kohli came out to bat after India had suffered a double setback with both openers — Murali Vijay (13) and Shikhar Dhawan (16) – dismissed early.

The Indian skipper, who scored just 5 runs in the first innings, could manage 28 runs before being dismissed by Vernon Philander.

Philander led a truncated South African bowling attack and he, along with Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada, helped the hosts bowl out India for 135 in the second innings to give the hosts a 72-run win and a 1-0 lead in the series.

On the other hand, Pandya was showered with praise on social media from not just fans but former cricketers as well for his brilliant 93-run knock in India’s first innings.

Apart from Pandya’ brilliant counter-attacking knock, other Indian batsmen failed to get their act together with the bat as none of the other batters looked anywhere close to coming to terms with the seam movement of the Newlands track.

So guys what do you think, will India gear up in the 2nd Test match and Level-up the 3 Test match series by 1-1 each. Do share your views on the same in the below comment box.