JOHANNESBURG – Four overs, 49 runs, one wicket. Kagiso Rabada went to bed last Saturday with those figures next to his name after his first game in the Mzansi Super League.
The Proteas marquee play for the Jozi Stars had an awful time at the Wanderers. His first three overs went for 45 runs, and two balls he bowled had to be replaced because they were smashed out of the ground.
Rabada looked flat, understandably perhaps given he’d only returned a few days earlier from Australia, where he was one of the central figures in South Africa’s triumph in the one-day series and one-off T20 International.
However, as one of the big names in Cricket SA’s new competition, Rabada’s start was poor as he missed lengths and lines.
Rabada, though, is not the type of player to let poor performances linger. If anything, in a match like the one his Jozi Stars face today against their provincial neighbours the Tshwane Spartans - against someone like AB de Villiers - Rabada will relish the opportunity.
Usually this kind of match would have a bit of "feeling" around it, being a derby. The Paarl Rocks and Cape Town Blitz played out a match at Boland Park that had plenty of gees, but that was a first for the region; two teams playing a derby.
Gauteng is more used to that given the rivalry that has existed for years between the Lions and Titans.
However, Theunis de Bruyn, who’s engaged in a fair share of those battles, says he doesn’t detect the same level of "feeling" ahead of today’s match.
“To be honest, I don’t feel as if (Wednesday) is a derby match,” he said. “You’ve got so many different franchise players playing within these new teams. It’s a match we have to win and they also have to win; it will be a good game”
What today’s game will have, said De Bruyn, is a battle of egos - one Rabada lost against his good chum Quinton de Kock last Saturday.
“These little battles, one day they get on top of you and other days you get on top of them; these internal battles are what will make this tournament special in the upcoming years.”@shockerhess