Cape Town - Proteas head coach Ottis Gibson says the return of pace spearhead
Kagiso Rabada is a big 'lift' for the squad ahead of the third Test
match against Australia starting at Newlands on Thursday.
available for selection after he was found not guilty of the level two charge
of making 'inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player'
following an appeal hearing in Cape Town on Monday.
READ: CSA hopes Rabada drama forces ICC rethink
Gibson says the No 1-ranked Rabada is geared up for the match, and does
not need any more motivation to perform following a busy week of legal hearings
off the field.
"We are very happy that he (Rabada) is allowed to play," Gibson said
ahead of the squad's practice at Newlands on Tuesday.
"We believe that it is
the right decision at the end of the day. He has been made aware of his
on-field celebrations. I don't want to say behaviour because he is not a
badly-behaved kid, he is just excitable and exuberant at times. When you are
playing the best team in the world sometimes that will come out of you.
"He is a very strong character," he said of Rabada.
"He came out of the
hearing after six hours and just wanted to practice, that is what he loves to
do. We are pleased that he has been allowed to do that for the rest of the
series. He has been made aware of his responsibility going forward, not just to
himself, but to the team as well. He is an important fit in our team, we can't
afford to not have him available."
The coach believes the squad will be feeding off the confidence and 'positive energy' from the six-wicket win to level the series in Port Elizabeth
last week, despite the long break and disruptions between matches.
positive for the squad is the return to fortress Newlands, a venue where they
have only lost four out of 31 matches since re-admission.
READ: Newlands faithful set to turn-up for epic Test
Rabada himself will be anticipating the return to a successful hunting
ground, where he has taken 19 wickets in three matches at a strike-rate of
"The way the series has been played, there has been a lot of good
cricket," Gibson said.
"The groundsman says the wicket here will be similar to
what it was for the last match (against India in January). We expect the two
teams to go hard at each other on the field and leave some of the off-field
stuff off the field."
Tickets for the match can be purchased at www.ticketpros.co.za or at the Newlands Ticket Office which will be open on Wednesday, March 21 from
Play is scheduled to start at 10:30 on Thursday.