South Africa v Australia: Dean Elgar says intensity will stay in

Kagio Rabada
Rabada is the leading wicket-taker in the four-match series
Third Test: South Africa v Australia
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town Date: 22-26 March

The third Test between South Africa and Australia will not lack intensity despite the Proteas losing Kagiso Rabada to suspension, says Dean Elgar.

Rabada was banned for deliberately making contact with Australia captain Steve Smith during the second Test but South Africa are contesting the ban.

The incident has been one of a number in the hotly-contested series with the third Test starting on Thursday.

"There has been a lot of niggle from both sides," Elgar said.

"It is what you expect when you play quality opposition.

"The intensity should be there, that is what makes this format so special in my eyes. I am also one to give it out a bit in all the right measurements."

Rabada is expected to find out the result of his appeal hearing in the next 48 hours after he brushed shoulders with Smith when celebrating the Australian's dismissal.

He was named man-of-the-match in the second Test after taking 11 wickets as South Africa levelled the series at 1-1.

"Having him in the side is massive for us, massive for the game and massive for the format, because KG is such a special cricketer," Elgar said.

"But there are rules that are implemented for certain instances, as cricketers we respect that.

"If he is good to go for the third Test it will be good for us and good for the game."

The series' controversy increased following Rabada's ban when the South African's team-mate Vernon Philander tweeted that Smith was "just as guilty" and used "football skills to get a penalty" but later said his account was hackedexternal-link.

Australia opener Cameron Bancroft said the tweet will increase the sledging on the field but Elgar says Philander will "take it in his stride".

"He is quite a relaxed human being but on the field he is as competitive as anyone else," Elgar said.

"He is going to expect that they will come out and say something to him."