Rabada: Attack leader ... at 20

2016-02-15 18:26
Kagiso Rabada (Gallo Images)

Cape Town – Kagiso Rabada on Sunday completed a distinguished personal double in the summer hostilities against England.

The baby-faced fast bowler, by ending the one-day international series with nine scalps (average 19.88, economy rate 4.73), ensured that he was South Africa’s leading wicket-taker – exactly his status in the prior Test series, a hugely rare feat for a 20-year-old.

Rabada was edged out overall for dismissals in the ODIs by the lanky English left-arm seamer Reece Topley, who accounted for 10 poles at 21.90, although his economy was a fair bit weaker at 6.08.

Topley also had the advantage of an extra match, playing in all five fixtures whereas Rabada was rested for the opener in Bloemfontein.

It was probably the intention to give the languid Lions paceman a bit more time off as the series progressed, but such was his influence – yet again – that it became almost impossible to keep him sidelined.

In an otherwise inconsistent Proteas attack, you always felt that it was up to either Rabada or Kyle Abbott to bring an element of control when things looked like unravelling; the latter ended the ODIs just behind Rabada with eight SA wickets at an economy rate of 5.21.

Perhaps under-rated, considering the rightful laurels for captain AB de Villiers’s game-tilting unbeaten century, was Rabada’s vital pair of scalps in the space of two deliveries – dangerous duo Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler – at a time when England were ominously barrelling along in the middle of their innings.

Those two dismissals, both bowled and with Rabada’s impressive nous against individual foes coming to the fore, pegged the tourists back and went a long way to explaining why they were eventually bowled out well short of negotiating a full 50 overs.

It was also the second time in the series that “KG” had completed his bowling stint while conceding fewer than four runs to the over – something he also managed while wicketless in Port Elizabeth.

In total, that phenomenon has been enjoyed by Rabada five times in his 14 bowling innings in the ODI arena, which tells you that there is something of a Shaun Pollock-style discipline element to accompany his many attributes in the strike column.

Just a reminder that the St Stithians product had snared 22 wickets at 21.90 in only three Tests against England, making him the overall series bowling “champ” even in defeat for South Africa; the vastly more experienced Stuart Broad bagged 18 scalps at 20.61 for the visitors.

For all his rawness, there is a strong case for saying that when South Africa go to the looming ICC World Twenty20 – his first senior global limited-overs tournament – Kagiso Rabada may well do so as leader in every respect of the Proteas attack, especially as doubts still swirl around Dale Steyn’s readiness.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    proteas  |  kagiso rabada  |  cricket


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!


Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi
27 August 2016
South Africa v New Zealand, Centurion 10:00
25 September 2016
South Africa v Ireland, Benoni 10:00
30 September 2016
South Africa v Australia, Centurion 14:30
Previous Results

Date Match Result

Should Proteas coach Russell Domingo stay - or go - as national coach?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


Follow all the action from the 2016 Rio Olympics. The highs, the lows, the tears, the smiles as the world's greatest athletes compete for gold, silver and bronze.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.