Johannesburg – Kagiso Rabada was a key figure – on and off the field – in South Africa’s 3-1 series win over Australia. 

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The 22-year-old finished with 23 wickets across the four Tests and was named man-of-the-series for his efforts. 

There is no doubt that the speedster was instrumental in the Proteas’ success, but he almost missed the final two Tests through suspension after he was punished by the ICC for a wicket celebration in Port Elizabeth. 

Rabada had trapped Steve Smith LBW and, during his animated celebration, he bumped shoulders with the Australian captain. 

It resulted in Rabada receiving three demerit points, but when that was reduced to one after an appeal, he was available once again for the final two Tests. 

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Rabada has acknowledged the need to rein himself in, but when asked what his favourite wicket of the series was, he had one answer. 

“I think the Steve Smith one,” he said.

“We were behind in the game at that stage and that wicket got the momentum rolling for us.”

Rabada is still one demerit point away from suspension, but he believes he now has his celebrations under control.

“I don’t think I always celebrate like how I did against Steve Smith,” he said.

“I think it’s what is in the moment. At times I just celebrate casually, but I am truly happy.

“Sometimes, in a big moment, it just fires you up and you can’t control it. I’ve made an effort not to get banned.

“You need to think about what you do. We’ve seen how things have been handled and the laws are there. In the moment, if a passionate celebration comes out, then you need to think about what you’re doing.”

Moving forward, Rabada hopes to have grown from his experiences, both good and bad, in this series.

“You never stop learning in terms of skill and you keep on gaining experience,” he said.

“Looking back you think about what you should have done and I guess the things off the field teach you a big lesson.

“If that’s how things are going to be handled, then you need to really think about your actions moving forward. This series, both on and off the field, I have definitely taken some learnings.” 

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