Mitchell Starc is the latest Australian to praise Proteas speedster Kagiso Rabada, who will miss the rest of the series through suspension.
Rabada’s absence for the Cape Town and Johannesburg Tests were confirmed after South Africa beat the Aussies inside four days at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
The 22-year-old was named Man of the Match after picking up 11 wickets for 150 runs, and the Australians have been singing his praises ever since.
‘He’s a pretty good bowler, isn’t he? What’s he got now, four 10-fors? Dale has got five in [many] more Test matches. His record is pretty good, it speaks for itself. He’s their spearhead, the one they go to, and he’s done the job time after time. They’ve got two guys who are in the mix who have taken 300 and 400 Test wickets. They’ve got plenty of bowlers in their stocks. But if he’s not playing in the rest of this series, he’s going to be a big loss for them.
‘I think that’s the biggest one, how close you get to the batsmen these days. It’s very much a no-no. He’s only young and made a couple of mistakes, but I’m sure he’ll learn going forward that you just can’t get that close to the batter and the [umpires] are going to be on you at all times. He’s a fantastic bowler to watch when he’s in full flight, and he’s going to keep taking wickets and keep celebrating. Maybe just moving away from the batter a little bit [would be better], which I think I’ve learnt in the past as well when I was a bit younger.’
‘He’s obviously a world-class bowler, isn’t he? His stats say that. He’s been a good challenge for us, the first two Test matches. Obviously not playing the next two. He bowls good pace and can swing it both ways.
‘I guess it’s obviously two nations going pretty hard out on the ground. It’s Test cricket and sometimes tensions do boil over. It is what it is sometimes. We’ve just got to keep playing good cricket and keep playing on skill.’
Bowling coach David Saker
‘I wouldn’t change a thing, it’s a great product. Even two or three years ago when I first saw the guy… he’s still a kid now, he’s just pretty exciting, he’s got raw pace, his arm speed is quite amazing, he keeps running in and, like a lot of good bowlers, he gets wickets in clumps and puts a lot of pressure on the new batters. He’s obviously hard to start against because of his pace. You wouldn’t be changing a thing, he’s a really exciting cricketer and South Africa are very blessed to have him in their team.
‘I wouldn’t be changing his action or his product. His discipline in the game you would have to change and I’m sure they would look at that, they’ll put people and things in place you would think. Fortunately for us, that’s not our problem and I’ll let South Africa deal with that one.’
Fielding coach Brad Haddin
‘Everyone needs to take a step back. Let’s start playing cricket more on skill and less on emotion. Both sides have been guilty of things they’re probably not proud of over the last two Test matches. But we’re 1-1, it’s time to play some cricket on skill and leave that other stuff to the side. It’s disappointing for Rabada. I know the South Africans, playing us, I’ve heard them say a couple of times this is their big series, and now he’s got to sit back and watch what’s going on out there. It will be interesting to see how he comes back after that, because he’ll be hurting, no doubt, over the next couple of Test matches.’
‘He’s a world-class bowler and you always want to come up against the best, that’s for sure. He’s right up there. He’s unbelievable, the way he’s been bowling.’