Having Kagiso Rabada in the South Africa team for the third Test with Australia would be massive, says Dean Elgar, who insists the Proteas will put the saga behind them regardless of what happens.
Rabada received a two-Test ban, keeping him out for the rest of the series, for making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with Steve Smith after dismissing the Australia captain in the second Test.
He was hit with three demerit points as punishment for the incident, taking him to eight in total within a two-year period.
The fast bowler has appealed, with his hearing scheduled for Monday, in the hope South Africa could have him available again this series after he took 11-150 in a match-winning performance in the second Test.
Asked about the situation in a media conference, Elgar said: "We haven't even spoken about it since we got in together today [Monday], as players I think we just try and isolate ourselves away from that situation.
"It would be nice to put it behind us now, there's been so much noise and people have actually forgotten there's such a great Test series happening between two strong and extremely competitive teams.
"It's just a pity that all this backroom noise is actually hindering quite an exciting Test series. Whatever happens we just put it behind us and whether KG is playing in the third Test or not it's out of our hands.
"Having him in the side is massive for us, it's massive for the game, it's massive for the format because KG's an extremely special cricketer.
"But we do know there are rules that are implemented for certain incidences in the game and we as cricketers respect that. If he's good to go for the third Test it will be awesome for us and awesome for the game."
Australia's Cameron Bancroft has indicated they will target Vernon Philander with sledges in the penultimate Test in Cape Town, which starts on Thursday, after a tweet was posted from his account saying Smith was "trying football skills to get a penalty" and was "just as guilty" as Rabada.
Philander claimed he was hacked and Elgar does not expect the seamer to be affected by the tourists' barbs when he is at the crease.
He added: "I think he'll take it in his stride, he's quite a relaxed human being, on the field he's competitive as anyone else, he's got a set of skills on the field that help us out as a team.
"I think Vernon he'll take it in his stride and I'm sure he's gonna expect they're going to come up and say something to him on the field and I'm sure he's prepared for that."
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