The IPL is proving to be an exceptional development platform for Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, writes ANDRE HUISAMEN.
The Proteas star was once again the pick of the bowlers for the Delhi Capitals team in their first loss of the 2020 season against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday.
As he has done in all three of their matches so far at the IPL, Rabada kept a strong hold as he opened the bowling, while keeping things tidy in the final over of the opposition’s innings.
He finished with excellent figures of 2-21 in his four overs, while it was the 10th successive IPL game with Rabada taking two or more wickets in a game – no other player has ever achieved this in the prestigious T20 competition.
10 matches in a row. At least two wickets in each. KAGISOOOO RABADAAAAA ❤️❤️
— Delhi Capitals (Tweeting from 🇦🇪) (@DelhiCapitals) September 29, 2020
Just as astounding, Rabada hasn’t gone wicketless for the Delhi Captials in their last 15 IPL matches.
But, what makes Rabada enjoy the IPL so much?
A few people have suggested in recent times that it could benefit the Proteas if Rabada focuses only on Test cricket, and maybe the ODI format, in order to get the best out of him.
From a South African point of view, managing Rabada’s workload is arguably one of the most important tasks for the coaching staff given his importance to the national teams.
Rabada got close to winning the purple cap during last year’s IPL, finishing with the second-most wickets in the competition with 25 scalps at an average of 14.72.
That amazing record seems to be under threat in this year’s edition in the UAE with Rabada already having seven wickets to his name in only three matches.
Given his form at the competition, it would be somewhat ridiculous to think that the Proteas could head to next year’s T20 World Cup without the 25-year-old in the squad.
Rabada has been the best bowler in South Africa for a few seasons now and he is continuing to evolve in the shorter formats. This means he will arguably be the best bowler for the Proteas for some time to come.
Take nothing away from the other bowling talents we have in the country and how new faces are always given the opportunity to be part of the Proteas camp in T2o series, but as he has done so often with the red ball, Rabada appears to be gunning for new level of dominance in the shorter format as well.
In the last three games he has been nipping the ball around while clocking 145km plus, while his variation in a four-over spell has also drastically improved.
In the past Rabada would often just back his speed and pitch the ball up, hoping pace would beat the batsman, but recently he was moving it around, taking the pace off the ball, while also going for shorter and fuller deliveries with much more accuracy.
It’s time for Rabada and Lungi Ngidi to form that special bond and destructive partnership for the Proteas, and the T20 format could very well be the best opportunity for that, especially with a World Cup on the horizon.
Proteas fans are eager to see a new fast-bowling phenomenon dominate world cricket and with Ngidi at full throttle, the time is ripe for the duo to take the Proteas to new heights.