Rabada hunts SA ODI 'podium' place

2019-01-15 16:02
Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Kagiso Rabada is closing in fast on 100 one-day international (ODI) wickets ... and well set to feature among the top three South Africans for speed to the landmark.

The 23-year-old strike bowler currently sports 93 scalps from 57 ODIs, ahead of the start (on Saturday at St George's Park) of the five-match series against Pakistan.

It would require a comic-hero sort of performance for him to draw level with the current record-holder, his veteran squad-mate Imran Tahir, as he would need a career-best seven wickets in his next ODI - Rabada's premier haul remains his debut 6/16 against Bangladesh in Dhaka, 2015.

The charismatic leg-spinner got to 100 wickets in his 58th ODI, against West Indies at St Kitts in 2016, when by coincidence he, too, registered his career-best figures of 7/45 which remains the single best analysis by a Proteas player.

But "KG" has a better chance, perhaps, of jumping onto the SA podium as second swiftest to the milestone, a spot currently occupied by internationally retired former team-mate Morne Morkel (59th ODI).

That would require him to earn seven wickets in his next two appearances to draw level with Morkel, or eight to claim sole occupancy of the "silver" position.

Even that is a demanding ask, but bear in mind that Rabada did grab seven scalps (4/54 in Adelaide, 3/40 at Hobart) in his last two ODIs, at the vital culmination of their 2-1 series victory in Australia during November.

Should he fall short of Morkel's achievement as well, however, he remains threateningly placed to elbow out legendary incumbent Allan Donald from third spot: "White Lightning" used up 64 ODIs to rack up his century of wickets.

Shaun Pollock comes in next (68th match), closely followed by Makhaya Ntini (69th).

As the current SA mantle-holder, Tahir also lies seventh in global history for speed to his 100 scalps; the leader is Afghanistan's Rashid Khan (44th ODI), although most of his wickets have come against relative minnows.

Of the more frontline nations, Australia's Mitchell Starc rules the roost, having hit the landmark in his 52nd ODI.

*The fastest South African to 50 wickets in the format is Lonwabo Tsotsobe, in his 27th ODI against Sri Lanka at Kimberley in January 2012.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read more on:    proteas  |  kagiso rabada  |  cricket


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