Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
5 Mar 2017
9:19 am

Kagiso Rabada isn’t a leader, rather a valued team-man

Heinz Schenk

The Proteas quick takes no pride in being considered the main man in the bowling attack. Rather he wants to grow with his teammates.

A grounded young leader: Kagiso Rabada. Photo: Michael Bradley/AFP.

The rate at which he takes wickets makes him seem like he’s the indisputable leader of the Proteas pace attack.

But Kagiso Rabada doesn’t consider himself that.

Instead, the brilliant 21-year-old quick is enjoying a journey where him and the rest of his rookie teammates are growing together.

“We boast a new bowling attack. There’s not much experience,” said Rabada, who on Saturday led South Africa to 3-2 ODI series win over New Zealand with a fine spell of 3/25.

“It’s really nice that we’re going through all our trials and successes together. Hopefully all of us stay in the team. And if someone new comes in, we can hopefully help them adapt quickly too.”

Rabada ended as South Africa’s leading wicket-taker with 8 in the series yet it was notable that the scalps were actually well spread between the bowlers.

Imran Tahir took 6, Dwaine Pretorius and Chris Morris 5 each and Andile Phelukwayo chipped in with 4.

That’s the type of dynamic any good one-day side needs.

It hasn’t been easy though.

Also read: Relentless Kagiso Rabada destroys as Proteas snap up ODI series

“We had to learn along the way. Wickets these days can be quite batter-friendly but we’ve got an experienced bowling coach in Charl Langeveldt. I also feel we learn quite quickly, that’s one of our strengths,” said Rabada.

With a three-match Test series commencing on Wednesday in Dunedin, the New Zealanders now have the headache of facing a Rabada who’s keen to apply some of the fundamentals of ODI cricket in the five-day format too.

It’s a bit of a scary thought.

“One-day cricket requires a lot of skill. There are so many plans you can come up with and implement,” he said.

“You can bowl wide yorkers, slower ball bouncers, back-of-the-hand slower balls and yorkers upfront. In Test cricket, you don’t have all those considerations.

“It’s less of a headache. Test cricket is more about perseverance and patience, it can drain you mentally. But we’ve seen bowlers who carry over plans from white-ball cricket to Test cricket. Who knows? I could surprise a few batters.”

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