Rabada is on his way to becoming South Africa’s most successful Test bowler

Saurabh Gandle Roar Guru

By Saurabh Gandle, Saurabh Gandle is a Roar Guru

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11 Have your say

    South Africa finished the day with 39-1 after bowling out Australia for meagre 243 after the opening stand of 98 between Cameron Bancroft and David Warner.

    The wicket turned from day one, but unlike the last Test, it was Kagiso Rabada who did the damage by taking 5-13 in the space of 11 deliveries which included Steve Smith, Marsh Brothers, Pat Cummins and Mitch Starc.

    To make it a perfect day, Rabada even survived few overs before the stumps on the way to make 17* of 14 balls.

    Rabada, from what has been seen in his relatively young career, bowls best when he is fired up. The problem is that when he is fired up, he also struggles to control his emotions and has been at the receiving end of ICC through fines or ban.

    He overtook, albeit for the time being, Dale Steyn on one of the most important statistical fronts. By taking 5 for 96, Rabada’s career strike rate in Tests dropped from 43.68 to 39.7.

    For years, Steyn has been the standout in this category – his current strike rate is 41.5.

    Though his career is still in its nascent stage, Rabada, just three years into his career, has shouldered not just responsibility to manage workload as first change bowler but even did it as a strike bowler in Australia in 2016 when Dale Steyn had to retire hurt in the first Test, leaving the team with one less strike bowler.

    Rabada not only did his part, but shouldered new responsibility and won the match thereby setting up series for visitors to win comfortably.

    Starting with a hattrick in the first match against Bangladesh, Rabada made huge waves when he bowled a perfect last over to MS Dhoni and thereby prevented him from getting winning runs, which not many can say.

    Following Dale Steyn’s lengthy lay-off and Kyle Abbott preferring riches over playing for the country, Rabada’s rise couldn’t have come at better time. He is still 22, and a decade-long career lies ahead of him.

    The youngest bowler to be ranked No.1 in the Test cricket had a fantastic start to his Test career as well. nHis 13 for 144 in the last Test against England in Centurion came close to beating Ntini’s 13 for 132 as the best match haul by a South African.

    Burnt 13-144 was against a much better team than Makaya Ntini who got the figures against West Indies. In 2015-16 summer Rabada walked away with six prizes at CSA’s annual awards – the most by any player in the history of the event.

    With seniors pros such as Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn, AB Devillers set to quit after World Cup 2019, the onus is on the South African young but experienced lad to lead the way through a period of transition.

    If at all he needs to be mindful of where he uses his aggression, he doesn’t need to tone down but be aware as to where to use it smartly and efficiently. Rabada’s teammate sees that as his part of his makeup and he does not need to cut it down.

    Unfortunately, his action of rubbing the shoulder with Smith could potentially lead him to be out of series but his work ethic, heart, skill and determination show he is ready to step up when needed.

    Those on the cricket field know they will see and get to hear a lot about this young man in the coming future.

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • March 11th 2018 @ 4:01am
      Cape Republic said | March 11th 2018 @ 4:01am | ! Report

      The shoulder rub incident, is what it is, an unfortunate incident. By the look of the TV angles, Rabada was walking and keeping his line to celebrate with his teammates.

      Smith, also was walking and keeping his line, to perhaps ask about whether he should go for the DRS or not. The shoulder rub was unfortunate.

      But in general, yes Rabada is piost to becoming the greatest fast bowler Africa has ever produced.

      • Roar Guru

        March 11th 2018 @ 7:48am
        Saurabh Gandle said | March 11th 2018 @ 7:48am | ! Report

        Yes he will if he doesn’t get swayed by offerings from leagues around the world.

      • Roar Rookie

        March 12th 2018 @ 10:08am
        Pedro The Fisherman said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:08am | ! Report

        View it again. Rabada definitely moves inwards towards Smith.
        Either way, his send off antics are enough to warrant his suspension.
        He will only become a great bowler if he actually plays!

    • March 11th 2018 @ 11:17am
      AGordon said | March 11th 2018 @ 11:17am | ! Report

      I’m sorry Saurabh but Rabada does need to tone down his aggression because he’s could cost his team his availability through his own stupidity for more than one Test if he does something dumb. It also makes no difference what his team mates say about how he channels his aggression, it’s what the match officials and the ICC disciplinary committee think. As it stands, he’s a loose cannon, albeit a very talented one.

      Better than Steyn, Alan Donald, Shaun Pollock and Morkel, only time will tell. At least they knew how to properly channel their aggression

      • Roar Guru

        March 11th 2018 @ 11:59pm
        Saurabh Gandle said | March 11th 2018 @ 11:59pm | ! Report

        Glenn McGrath for sure didn’t tone down any aggression he just channelized it way better than Rabada and off course had backing of ICC as well.

    • March 11th 2018 @ 1:27pm
      JonR said | March 11th 2018 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

      The TV coverage showed an interesting stat – Rabada leads the list of all time best strike rates among bowlers who have taken 120 wickets or more. This was obviously artificial, as Rabada has just passed 120 wickets it leaves out the all time SR leader, George Lohmann, who took 114 wickets at an average of 10.8 and SR of 34 balls/wicket. But George played in the 1880s an 90s when wickets were often dodgy and totals under 200 almost as common as those above. And Rabada is still fourth on the alltime list on Cricinfo (min. 2000 balls) and ahead of some other greats of the 1880s like Fred Spofforth and Billy Barnes.

      The other interesting feature of the TV list that it showed several other relatively recent South Africans in the top ten – Philander, Steyn and Donald. Which made me wonder, do South African wickets contribute to high strike rates? Sure enough, if you break down Rabada’s figures, his SR is 34 in Sth Africa, 43 in Australia, 51 in England and 175 in India. Mitchell Starc, who is in the top 10 on the 120+ list, has an overall SR 8 points lower than Rabada (48 vs 40). But by country he has 33 in Sth Africa, 50 in Australia, 54 in England and 86 in India. It would be interesting to see whether total runs per wicket have been lower in SA over the last 10 years compared to other countries, or whether they are just so much better than visiting bowlers at exploiting home conditions.

      • Roar Guru

        March 11th 2018 @ 11:57pm
        Saurabh Gandle said | March 11th 2018 @ 11:57pm | ! Report

        Rabada is 5 years younger to Starc the more he plays more the set we can have to judge but his start has been impressive certainly way better than Starc.

    • Roar Guru

      March 11th 2018 @ 5:15pm
      Corne Van Vuuren said | March 11th 2018 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

      He certainly looks the part, hopefully he has a long career with not too many injuries. Steyn could have had a lot more wickets was it not for his injuries.

      • Roar Guru

        March 11th 2018 @ 6:45pm
        Saurabh Gandle said | March 11th 2018 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

        Steyn has fallen behind the cards James Anderson while looks to surpass Glenn Mcgrath record of 563 test wickets.Dale is at 419 wickets.

    • March 11th 2018 @ 6:32pm
      Chris said | March 11th 2018 @ 6:32pm | ! Report

      Cricket fans can get obsessed about how players rank against their contemporaries and past greats. Sometimes to the point of not even enjoying the play right in front of them.

      At this moment Rabada is the most versatile fast bowler I have seen, which is extraordinary for a 22 year old. There is nothing of the fast bowling craft that he can’t do to a very high standard. Pace, bounce, swing (orthodox and reverse), stamina and accuracy, he’s got it all.

      I am excited to see what his career will bring, but in the meantime I’ll just enjoy the class he is producing right now.

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