Cape Town - As the Proteas begin to look to their tour of India from the beginning of next month, one can only wonder what is in store for promising speedster, Kagiso Rabada.
Rabada has made a stellar rise since he burst on the scene for the South African Under-19 side, helping them to win their age category World Cup in 2014.
Rabada announced himself to the world with incredible figures of 6-25 against a strong Australian outfit in a semi-final match.
With his team posting a modest 230, the youngster ripped the heart out of the Australian top order, snaffling up their top 3 and leaving them reeling at 33-3. He had done enough, Australia never recovered, and he picked up a further three wickets to be named man-of-the-match.
On his return to the local scene, Rabada quickly established himself at the Lions franchise where he continued to impress in all formats. His raw pace and excellent accuracy proved a difficult combination for many domestic batsmen to handle.
After mixed success on a visit to Australia with the South African ‘A’ side, he was included as a non-playing member of the Proteas’ one-day squad when they toured Zimbabwe at the beginning of the 2014/15 season.
He then became a fully-fledged Protea on the visit to Australia for a limited overs series in November 2014.
On this tour, Rabada made his T20 debut, playing in two matches and picking up a single wicket. He was then drafted into the Test squad when the West Indies toured South Africa in the summer of 2014/15 but never played.
More T20 internationals followed, but it was in a local Sunfoil Series match against the Dolphins that Rabada again showed his undoubted potential. After taking five wickets in the first innings at the Wanderers, the speedster then bowled the Lions to victory in the Dolphins’ second innings when he recorded astonishing figures of 9-33. His overall match figures of 14-105 were the best recorded in the franchise era.
The Lions paceman was again selected for the Proteas’ tour of Bangladesh and announced himself on the international stage with an unbelievable debut performance in a one-day international in Mirpur.
Not only did he produce the best South African bowling figures in the one-day format but his 6-16 in 10 overs also included an impressive hat-trick.
With this, Rabada became only the second player ever to take a hat-trick on debut. The records didn’t stop there however. His figures were also the best produced by a player making their international one-day debut.
Rabada is sure to be a part of the Proteas squad to tour India in October.
Although he has tasted success in the shorter formats of the game, he will no doubt be champing at the bit to make his Test debut.
Whether the Proteas selectors feel that the subcontinent is a place to unleash him remains to be seen.
His first class average of 22.33 with a strike rate of 45.7 clearly points to his ability over the longer format.
Depending on how the series pans out, it might be a worthwhile experiment to give the youngster a run.
Rabada has certainly shown that he has what it takes to succeed in the Test arena and is undoubtedly the pace future of the Proteas.