News broke on Tuesday that the ICC had given Rabada one demerit point instead of the initial three following his ‘shoulder brush’ with Aussie captain Steve Smith in Port Elizabeth.
The initial punishment had put Rabada over the eight demerit point threshold for the past 24 months and meant that he was suspended for two Tests.
But, after his successful appeal, he is back down to seven demerit points and is now available for selection in Cape Town for the third Test on Thursday.
Rabada’s match figures of 11/150 in the second Test in Port Elizabeth were ultimately the difference between the sides as South Africa clawed their way back into the series with a six-wicket win, and his return is obviously a huge boost for the hosts.
But, addressing media at Newlands on Tuesday. Australian spinner Nathan Lyon said that he and his team-mates welcomed the decision from the ICC.
“It’s exciting,” Lyon said.
“As Australian cricketers we always want to play against the best players in the world and KG is the No 1 bowler in the world. It’s going to be another great challenge for all of us.
“The ICC has made their decision and we respect them … that’s their job. We’ve got no dramas with it.”
Lyon added that the availability of Rabada had not impacted on Australia’s preparation whatsoever.
“We were preparing for him to play. Our preparation yesterday and today has been outstanding,” he said.
Asked whether or not he was surprised by the ICC’s decision, Lyon was less convincing.
“It’s not for me to sit here and say if it’s the right one or wrong one … I respect it,” he said.
“Let’s just move on and go play some good cricket.
“It’s 1-1 and there are two massive Test matches to go. We have to play our best to beat South Africa.”