CAPE TOWN – Vernon Philander believes that Australian captain Steve Smith was the one who brushed the shoulder of Proteas star Kagiso Rabada in the second Test in Port Elizabeth.
Philander took to Twitter just before midnight on Wednesday, and – accompanied by a short video clip of the incident involving Smith and Rabada at St George’s Park, he gave his impression of what happened last Sunday.
“Havent really seen the fotage of this incident but by the looks of this...Steve Smith gave KG the shoulder. He could have avoided any contact but to me he is just as guilty. Trying some football skills to get a penalty??? Pity he didnt dive to top it off,” Philander posted.
The comments are sure to lead to more chatter between the two teams when the four-match series resumes next week Thursday, March 22 at Newlands, with the sides locked at 1-1 after the Proteas drew level with a six-wicket victory on Monday in PE.
Rabada was found guilty of “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player” by ICC match referee Jeff Crowe after being adjudged to have brushed Smith’s shoulder after trapping the batsman lbw for 25.
The 22-year-old fast bowler was charged with a Level 2 breach of the ICC code of conduct, and received three demerit points and a fine of 50% of his match fee for the Smith incident – which took him to eight points overall and resulted in an automatic two-Test suspension.
In addition, Rabada was handed a further demerit point and another 15% of his match fee for screaming near David Warner after bowling the left-hander on Sunday with a peach of a delivery.
Havent really seen the fotage of this incident but by the looks of this.Steve Smith gave KG the shoulder. He could have avoided any contact but to me he is just as guilty. Trying some football skills to get a penalty??? Pity he didnt dive to top it off. pic.twitter.com/eWapKlkMUE
But on Wednesday, the ICC announced that Rabada was appealing the Level 2 charge involving Smith, and a judicial commissioner will be appointed as soon as possible to hear the case.
Proteas captain Faf du Plessis, while acknowledging that the 22-year-old need to be “a bit smarter” when it comes to his wicket-taking celebrations, said Rabada was showing “pure passion” when he got a batsman out.
“If you know KG’s character, he is not a guy like that. KG will probably have to get a bit smarter when he celebrates a wicket. I don’t think he does anything wrong.”
Rabada admitted that he was “letting the team down and letting myself down”, but felt that he “never felt contact at all” with Smith.