Kagiso Rabada is eager to start learning his trade on the surfaces of the sub-continent when South Africa’s tour of Bangladesh starts on Sunday.
The promising youngster has been included in the squads for all three formats as he looks to establish himself at international level. Rabada should play in the T20 match on Sunday but his involvement in the three ODIs is less certain.
At just 20 years of age, it would make sense for the Proteas management not to throw Rabada into the deep end, but rather expose him slowly to the unforgiving nature of international cricket.
Rabada is a prodigious talent but needs to be managed carefully. He is the future of the South African bowling attack and going on this tour is the first big step in his development at senior level.
‘To be honest, I don’t have the necessary experience [of subcontinent conditions] so I will go and find out,’ Rabada told Sport24.
‘The goal is to establish myself in international cricket, but only performances will do that for me, so I am hoping to prepare well. And if I do the right things the performances will come.
Rabada has already played three T20s for the Proteas and it would make sense to blood him in the shorter formats first before he is exposed to Test cricket. After helping the SA U19 team win the World Cup last year, Rabada did exceptionally well in his first full season of first-class cricket.
He was the joint second leading wicket-taker during last season’s Sunfoil series along with Hardus Viljoen, both taking 39 wickets. Rabada’s scalps came in just eight games at an average of 21.12 and a strike-rate of 42.4.
‘The dream is always to play Test cricket, that is the ultimate form, so it has been a good season and hopefully it continues in that fashion in international cricket for me and the team.’
Rabada has some experience of the subcontinent having previously toured with the U19s to India, while the World Cup was played in Dubai.
‘The simple things, I would say, is the length. The ball sits up there, it is quite slow off the deck and you need to vary it with your slow balls,’ Rabada said.
‘You need to be clever in the way you get the batsmen out, not your ordinary dismissals. Obviously, reverse swing plays a role in the subcontinent.’
Despite primarily being regarded as a strike bowler, Rabada is also keen to prove he can contribute with the bat when needed.
‘I’ve been working on it, I don’t want to be one dimensional and I am looking to be an asset in all departments of my game, which is something I pride myself in.’