Russell Domingo has admitted that he needs to manage Kagiso Rabada carefully to prevent over-bowling the young star.
The 21-year-old has played in nearly every match for the Proteas since his ODI debut in July 2015, and after the injuries of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, Rabada was forced to step up as the main paceman for the side in all three formats. This has made it difficult for Domingo to rest Rabada, in view of his consistent match-winning performances.
However, Rabada was left out for the second ODI in Christchurch due to a sore knee last Wednesday, and had to watch from the sidelines as his side suffered a narrow six-run loss, breaking their unbeaten ODI streak of 12 games.
Rabada returned to the side for the third ODI in Wellington and picked up 2-39, as the Proteas defeated the Black Caps on Saturday by 159 runs, knocking over the opposition for 112.
His amazing run of form, in which he has picked up 63 scalps in 14 Tests, 53 wickets in 32 ODIs and 22 in 16 T20s, saw him signed by the Delhi Daredevils for over R10-million in the 2017 IPL auction. This means more games and the risk of exhaustion as a result of the jam-packed cricket calendar of the youngster.
Leaving a bowler of his quality out of the side will be a difficult decision for the Proteas coach. Domingo emphasised his reluctance to leave Rabada out for the fourth ODI in Hamilton, as they look to win the series with a game to spare.
‘There’s a fine line between resting players and winning a series,’ Domingo told the media on Saturday.
‘You got to manage the process quite carefully, particularly for a young player like KG,’ the coach said.
‘I’ve read somewhere that he bowled 200 overs more than anybody else in the last year. He’s only 21 and Andile (Phehlukwayo) is only 20, so those are two bowlers who need a lot of management.
‘But it’s hard to leave KG out of the next game in Hamilton, he’s a seriously good bowler and it’s no coincidence that when he’s back in the mix we look like a different side.
‘But we need to manage that carefully.’
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