• ‘We won’t throw in the towel’

    Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has downplayed the mood in the Proteas camp by insisting everyone is ‘positive’ ahead of the final England Test.

    The youngster, who was South Africa’s best bowler at the Wanderers did, however, admit that things have not been going well of late.

    ‘It hasn’t been a great past two months for us coming from India and here against the English,’ he said. ‘We are bonding together as a team and trying to get into a good space. We are very positive at the moment, that is the best thing to do.

    ‘There is always going to be ups and downs in cricket and in life. The good times will come and we’ll look back at these times and say: “look where we were and look where we are now”.’

    Asked by an English journalist about the gulf between the two teams, Rabada said it wasn’t as big as people might think.

    ‘I don’t really think so [that England are that much better than South Africa],’ he said. ‘I think clearly they are playing better cricket. Maybe you could say that we have a young bowling attack. They have a very experienced bowling attack so maybe that is the only difference but I don’t think they’re that much better than us.’

    South Africa’s injury woes in this series continues as Dale Steyn was ruled out of the Centurion Test with a shoulder injury. The Proteas┬áhave badly missed their two frontline seamers in Steyn and Vernon Philander, who tore ankle ligaments in India. Stiaan van Zyl has also been released from the squad as Lions opener Stephen Cook looks set to make his debut.

    Although the series is already lost, South Africa must try and win the final game to save some face and get their confidence back. They would also ideally like to take some momentum into the ODI series.

    ‘We are going to rock up at Centurion and play hard. We are not going to throw the towel in, it’s unlike us to do that,’ Rabada said.

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