Kagiso Rabada’s injury is a blessing in disguise, says Allan Donald
Donald wants Rabada to be completely fit so that the next time he is on the field for South Africa, he can give him his all.
Updated - May 8, 2018 12:13 pm
South African pacer Kagiso Rabada, only at 22, has become a main pillar of the Protea bowling attack, along with another young speedster Lungi Ngidi. Debuting in 2015 against India, he has already played 30 Test matches and has 143 wickets under his name. His current average of 21.59 is highly commendable, to say the least.
With Dale Steyn out of the picture, Rabada led the South African pace attack in the recently concluded and much controversial Australia series. The Proteas won the series 3-1, and Rabada was announced the Player of the Series with 23 wickets at an average of 20.
The series was clouded from the beginning with some controversy or the other, and finally climaxed in the ball tampering saga, leading to the ban of Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft. But that is not all that happened.
In the final match in Johannesburg, Rabada bowled only 8 overs in the second innings of Australia because of back pain. It was later diagnosed to be an effect of lower back stress reaction, as a result of which Rabada was ruled out of all forms of cricket for at least the next three months.
This meant he had to give the opulent Indian Premier League a miss. He could not take up the 646,000 USD bid that the Delhi Daredevils had placed for his partiicipation. Given DD’s position in the league right now, it is safe to say they are missing Kagiso Rabada.
But former cricketer Allan Donald seems to think that it is more of a boon than a curse. Rabada looked completely worn out in the last Test match, and it was probably a high time he took a break from international cricket and took some rest. But it was not happening with so much cricket around.
“I think what happened to Rabada is probably a blessing in disguise because the bloke is knackered — he just didn’t look like he had anything in him in that last innings in Joburg,” Donald said. “I mean that in a very nice way with his injury as he can have time to rest because at the moment he’s not getting any of that.”
Donald wants Rabada to be completely fit so that the next time he is on the field for South Africa, he can give him his all, “He’s our front-man at the moment — he is just an absolute gift,” Donald spoke about Rabada in high regards. “He’s the best young fast bowler going around right now,” he said as quoted by Hindustan Times.
Next, South Africa tours Sri Lanka in July, featuring two Tests, five one-day internationals and a lone Twenty20. Hopefully, with the fully recovered Rabada and Ngidi, the SA pace battery will have enough firepower, perfectly balanced out by the experienced mind and skills of Vernon Philander.
“Vernon does what Vernon does — if there’s anything in the wicket he’ll expose it. It’s going to be a different story in Sri Lanka though, that’s for sure,” he said.
Dale Steyn will also be joining the squad for Sri Lanka. But in Donald’s opinion, it would not really be a piece of cake for the South Africans.
“They will be tested severely in Sri Lanka, and it’s not going to seam much, but they’ve got a great bunch of guys with a lot of skill there and great leadership too.”