Kagiso Rabada is not terribly concerned about no longer being the talk of the town when it comes to quick bowlers.
Rabada said that he was determined to learn from his mistakes at a disappointing Cricket World Cup.
Rabada determined to put the World Cup behind him
“It’s never easy maintaining a career; I’ve learned that there are a lot of ups and downs. I want to be the best in the world, everybody does,” Rabada told IOL. “You are naturally going to compete in that fashion, I’m not too worried, I’m feeling nice and easy.
“I’m disappointed, not angry [about the World Cup]. What do I do with anger? When a setback comes you want to be determined, you don’t want to change a lot of things. It’s about seeing where you went wrong and then putting in extra work.”
The quick says that competition from great fast bowlers around the world inspires him to up his game. Rabada believes that players don’t place too much stock in media hype though.
“I admire those bowlers, they are good bowlers,” Rabada said when asked about Bumrah and Archer. “However, the media hypes certain players, and that’s OK; I know I have been playing very well. Archer is such a natural talent; Bumrah is doing wonders and that can force you to lift your game. You are not always at the top, that’s one thing I can tell you.”
The Proteas are hopeful that some knowledge of the conditions will see improved performances in Test cricket in Asia. Rabada felt that experience in both India in 2015 and Sri Lanka last year could be useful for the side.
“You need to figure out what you need to do to give the team a better chance to win that is what I try to focus on,” Rabada told PTI. “When you have played there before you will have an idea of what to do in certain tough situations.
“The previous tour we were successful because we won the T20 and ODI series but the Test series was a bit of a shambles because those wickets were just terrible. If I could give an example the first Test match it was 200 v 200 in first innings. If we batted first it was going to be a different ball game because we ended up having to chase the game. We lost 3-0 and we were truly hammered.
“On our recent tour to Sri Lanka it was tricky conditions,
“There is a whole lot of talk about how to approach spin but we will see how it goes. What helps is that there are guys who have played there in the past and I guess what you can do is to use what worked and what did not work during the Sri Lanka tour to have a base.
“When you go there for the first time it’s weird and you don’t know what to do. If you look at how Faf [du Plessis] batted in Sri Lanka, he got good starts which showed that he had played there and knew the conditions.”
The Proteas begin their tour of India with a three-match T20I series with the first match scheduled to take place at Dharamsala on Sunday 15 September.
An IPL altercation could bring a bit of extra needle to India’s Cricket World Cup opener against South Africa, should captain Virat Kohli square off against Kagiso Rabada on Wednesday.
The two-time world champions battle it out against a struggling Proteas side at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, and will be hoping to start their campaign on a flyer.
Central to their chances is their skipper, who has found himself having to field questions over comments made by the speedster in a recent interview.
Kagiso Rabada recounts IPL duel with Indian skipper
Speaking to The Cricket Monthly some weeks ago, Rabada recalled a clash between his IPL franchise, the Delhi Capitals against Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore.
According to the 24-year-old, the Indian skipper had threw a word his direction after hitting him for a boundary.
“I was just thinking about the game plan, really, but Virat, he hit me for a boundary and then he had a word.
“And then when you give it back to him, he gets angry. I don’t get the guy. Maybe he does it because it gets him going, but that comes across as very immature for me.
“He is a phenomenal player but he can’t take the abuse. But those things can’t distract you. In fact, for me it just wakes me up, if anything.
“If somebody comes at me and says, “I’m going to hit you. I’m going to clobber you. You are soft”, it wakes me up because – it’s a fight-or-flight response.”
Virat Kohli coy in his response
The last big media conference ahead of India’s first run in the tournament provided the Indian captain with a chance to hit back, but his response suggested that he’d prefer that the telling blows be made with the willow, rather than the tongue.
“If there is anything for me and Rabada to discuss, we can do that man to man.”
The match between India and South Africa starts at 11:30 (SAST).