10 things to know about Kagiso Rabada
Last year during the Under-19 World Cup, when Kagiso Rabada took six wickets for 25 in the semi-final against Australia, he made himself impossible to ignore. Those who keep an eye on youth tournaments, immediately wanted to know about the kid who was pinning batsmen with 145km/h deliveries. Rabada was quickly spotted by Cricket South Africa, their official cricket governing board. The 20-year-old burst onto the international scene against Bangladesh earlier this year and made his presence felt against the Indians in their own backyard.
Here are 10 things to know about the talented youngster:
1. His Hometown
Kagiso Rabada hails from South Africa's commercial capital Johannesburg, home to the domestic side Highveld Lions for whom he plays local cricket. He went to St Stithians Boys College, the same school as New Zealand's Grant Elliot and England's Michael Lumb. He passed out of school in 2013.
2. Has been brought up by conscientious parents
The pacer from Johannesburg, who is being hailed to become the hope for black townships, was brought up by a set of very sensitive parents. His father is a doctor who has always taught him to be grounded, even though Kagiso had a privileged life. Back when he was just around nine, he would accompany his father to the impoverished black neighbourhoods. The boy, who loved his meat and fish, would struggle to understand the poverty and the hardships and was moved enough to start gifting shoes and clothes to the kids. As he grew up, they didn’t have to say much about the need to be compassionate. According to Dr. Rabada, it came naturally to his son.
3. Holds the best bowling figures on debut
Rabada recorded the best-ever figures by any bowler on his ODI debut. He and Fidel Edwards are the only bowlers in the world to have taken a six-wicket haul in their first ODI.
4. He was the World Cup star for his under-19 team
In the match against Australia, he took 6 for 25, the best bowling performance in the tournament. He topped the wickets tally (14) for South Africa in their victorious 2014 Under-19 World Cup campaign in UAE, helping his country to its maiden win.
5. Holds prolific numbers in domestic matches
After his terrific U-19 World Cup performance, the pacer was fast-tracked to the system and was immediately signed up by the Highveld Lions. He took 9 for 33 earlier this year in a domestic game for the Lions against Dolphins - a total of 14 wickets in the match. Young Rabada’s return of 14-105 was the best return since Dale Steyn’s 14-110 back in 2007 for the Titans against the Eagles. It was open house for him, as he took just 73 balls to demolish Dolphins line-up.
6. Holds a hat-trick
The speeedster was on fire against Bangladesh in the first ODI at Mirpur in 2015 as he picked up a hat-trick. Rabada bowled Tamim Iqbal in the third ball of his second over and then had Litton Das and Mahmudullah in the next two deliveries to complete the set.
7. He is in elite company
Rabada is the third South African to hold an ODI hat-trick. Charl Langeveldt and all-rounder JP Duminy are the only other players to hold this record.
8. Already re-writing the records
The 20-year-old is the second bowler in the world to pull off a hat-trick on ODI debut. Bangladesh's left-arm spinner Taijul Islam was the first bowler to take a hat-trick on debut, he achieved the feat last year against Zimbabwe at the same venue. Maybe Mirpur is a lucky ground for debutants!
9. He sent Glenn Maxwell packing
On his T20 debut against Australia, he dismissed Glenn Maxwell for a duck. The big-hitter who is gradually turning into every bowler’s nightmare did not faze the youngster at all as he tore past Maxwell’s defences.
10. Following the footsteps of Allan Donald
He is the second South African after the great Allan Donald to take a five-wicket haul on debut. Overall he is the 11th player in the world to take 5 wickets or more on ODI debut.