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Kagiso Rabada speaks ahead of the second ODI against Sri Lanka

ANALYST
Feature
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 17:01 IST

South Africa v Australia - 4th Test: Day 5
Young but immensely skilled

What's the story

It was in 2015 that Kagiso Rabada, the fiery young pacer debuted for South Africa in international cricket. Since his first ever game, he has been a remarkable influence in the team's cricket. Still just 23, there are several years of cricket left in him.

Ahead of his 50th ODI, which he is playing against Sri Lanka today, a new responsibility awaited the young man as he was thrust with the leadership of South Africa's bowling setup. Still, Rabada is not ready to take up the new role as a responsibility, instead, he says that he likes to enjoy the duty assigned to him.

In case you didn't know...

Rabada has so far played 32 Tests, 49 ODIs, and 16 T20Is, picking up 151, 79 and 22 wickets across each formats respectively. His ODI debut, which was the first ever International game that he played, saw him picking up 6/16, including a memorable hat-trick. It is also his best ODI performance to date.

Rabada also did well in the 2018 series against India at home, though his side could manage a series win only in Tests. He was expected to perform in the Test series against Sri Lanka last month, but the pitches offered zero help to the pacer and he failed to succeed. With the change of formats, Rabada did well in the most recent ODI game against the same opponents as he reaped three wickets in eight overs for his winning side.

The details

"I have not come to grips with the fact that I am the leader," Rabada said while speaking to the media ahead of the game. "I don't see it that way. I have a responsibility towards the team as the opening bowler. Of all the bowlers, I have got the most experience along with (Tabraiz) Shamsi. If you look at it that way, we are sort of leading. I don't see myself as a much of a leader - all I know is that I have got some responsibility. If someone wants help, then I am all out to give that," he explained.

Eyeing the upcoming Cricket World Cup of 2019 which is less than a year away, Rabada has been widely expected to spearhead the bowling attack of the South African side. However, the youngster does not share a similar thought or equally distant a vision.

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"At the moment it's too early to think about the World Cup. We are working and thinking about this series," he said. "That is the priority. You will be working towards the World Cup, and you want to get to a certain level at the World Cup. But right now thinking about how we need to play here."

What's next

South Africa have lost the toss and put to field first in the second ODI against Lanka. The hosts are currently at 217 for 7 after 45.1 overs, with Rabada remaining claiming 1 wicket for 32 runs in 6.1 overs.

Published 01 Aug 2018, 18:00 IST
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