Rabada has played in all three Tests in the series and also featured in the limited-overs part of the Indian tour, and captain Hashim Amla said in a statement on Wednesday that the 20-year-old paceman could get a break for the last game of the trip at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.
This is despite the fact that World No 1-ranked Proteas spearhead was eventually ruled out of the Delhi Test on Wednesday as his groin injury is still causing him some discomfort.
“KG (Rabada) has played a lot of the games,” Amla said. “It has been a great challenge for him and a great experience for him to play all of the games in his short career, and to make such an impact. The selectors haven’t made a decision on what the team will look like, so we will finalise that this evening (Wednesday).
“You want to win every Test match, so with every match, you want to play your best XI. Whether or not that necessitates changing the team to play your strongest XI, then so be it. Test cricket is the ultimate level that you will play in this sport, so if changing the team gives you the best XI, then it will happen.”
So without Steyn and probably Rabada, it could see Kyle Abbott and Marchant de Lange join Morné Morkel in a three-pronged pace attack on Thursday.
But a lot will depend on the make-up of the batting line-up, where opener Stiaan van Zyl could be under pressure after battling to deal with the Indian spinners. Another option for Proteas coach Russell Domingo is to slot Temba Bavuma into the middle-order to strengthen the batting line-up.
India clinched a series victory in Nagpur to take a 2-0 lead, but Amla said the South Africans want to end the tour on a high.
The final Test also serves as good preparation for the upcoming England tour to South Africa, and the Proteas will want to regain some confidence with a victory. “We have the England series on nearly two weeks after we get back home,” Amla said. “It’s important for us to get back to winning ways, that is the key for us.
“Every Test match is an important match. There are no freebies in Test cricket and when you play for your country, you want to make an impact and you want to win. It’s important for us to at least make it 2-1 to salvage some pride in this series.
“We came to India almost two-and-a-half months ago and started the tour off successfully with wins in the T20 and ODI series. It would be nice to cap off the tour with a victory.”
* Follow @IndyCapeSport on Twitter for live updates throughout the day for the fourth Test, which starts at 6am South African time on Thursday.The Proteas’ final Test against India serves as good preparation for the upcoming England tour to South Africa.
Original source: Rabada may sit out Delhi Test