Kagiso Rabada revealed his excitement for building a partnership with Lungi Ngidi in the years to come.
Ngidi attended his second Cricket South Africa awards on Saturday. It was a breakthrough season for the youngster which saw him nominated for Ram Slam T20 Challenge Cricketer of the Season, International Newcomer of the Year and Ram Delivery of the Year.
The 22-year-old lost out to Tabraiz Shamsi for the T20 Challenge award, Aiden Markram for the International Newcomer and Test bowling partner Rabada for the Delivery of the Year.
Although Ngidi did not walk away with any honours, Rabada acknowledged his teammate’s potential.
‘He is a great talent; I’ve seen him at school level,’ Rabada told SA Cricket magazine.
‘He’s showed that he can perform on the highest level. He is a bright guy and it shows in his skills. He’s always learning and grasps things quite quickly – it’s a major strength of his.
‘I’m excited to see how he’s going to accept the challenge that he will be faced with.’
Rabada had a phenomenal season for the Proteas. His performances saw him rise to No 1 on the Test bowlers rankings and helped the Proteas record an incredible 2-1 victory against India as well as a historic 3-1 victory against Australia.
He was commemorated for his efforts by picking up six awards at the annual Cricket South Africa awards in Sandton on Saturday. This was only the second time that a player had picked up six awards, the first time was in 2016 when he also picked up six accolades.
‘Last time I was caught quite off-guard. I get quite shy. I think I handled it better [now]. I am honoured to earn these awards. I feel that I am more relaxed,’ Rabada told Independent Media.
‘I am thankful that I have won these awards. I have worked quite hard. I didn’t think I would win so many awards. So many people had a good season. I thought there was going to be a lot of suspense, but that’s not what happened.’
Taken aback by all the awards I received….. I did not think the night would go that way, because, so many members of the team had great seasons. However, i want to thank everyone for their well wishes, it’s not taken for granted ! I Cannot wait to get back with the team. ????
— kagiso rabada (@KagisoRabada25) June 4, 2018
Speaking exclusively to SA Cricket magazine, Rabada said: ‘I enjoyed the season. There were a whole lot of players that did so well but the Australia series was a highlight for me.
‘We were 1-0 down and they had their foot on our necks and wanted to squash us in PE but I’m really proud of how we turned it around.
‘Throughout the season I was just trying to improve on what I feel I have been weak at and I guess that’s helped me to perform on a more consistent basis and I wish to continue doing so.’
Unfortunately, the 23-year-old picked up a lower back stress reaction during the fourth Test at the Wanderers and this kept him out of the IPL season with the Delhi Daredevils. He confirmed that he is close to recovery.
‘I enjoyed being at home. I did nothing for a few months,’ he said. ‘I really enjoyed it; I was just sitting down and eating. Now it’s time to get back into it, I’ve been doing my rehab and it’s been going well so far.’