The right-arm pacer was the highest wicket-taker among pacers in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. Claiming 24 wickets in 14 matches in his debut season for the Punjab Kings, the 27-year-old was arguably one of the top performers of the season.
Noting that Rabada would be a key weapon for the visitors against a stacked Indian batting unit, Zaheer Khan said on Cricbuzz:
We've seen how Rabada has gone on about his business along with Quinton de Kock as well. Every time you talk about the team doing well here, they say bowlers win you games."
"So, South Africa will be expecting a lot from Rabada, continuing with his wicket-taking form. We know the Indian team is going to be strong with their batting lineup so, South Africa will be hoping that their bowling is equal to the challenge."
The express pacer has claimed four wickets against India in as many T20I matches at an economy of 7.53 runs per over.
He will be leading a pace bowling unit, which includes Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius and Marco Jansen.
"India head into the series as favourites, there is no doubt about it" - Zaheer Khan
Despite their premier players playing throughout the IPL, Cricket South Africa (CSA) has named a formidable squad for the five-match away series.
India, on the other hand, have employed a different approach with several senior players rested following a hectic two-month IPL campaign.
Despite competing without the services of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami, Zaheer Khan named the Men in Blue as favorites to clinch the series.
The 43-year-old said:
"When you look at these two teams, on paper you would feel that this would be an evenly fought series, there will be some exciting cricket, some close games, that's what I am looking forward to from this series. As far as prediction is concerned, India head into the series as favourites, there is no doubt about it. The home advantage will be with them."
India will take on South Africa in the first of the five T20Is on June 9 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.