Kagiso Rabada and his Proteas team mate will be looking to wrap up a series win against Sri Lanka. Photo:
Kagiso Rabada reckons that the Proteas are getting there as they build towards the Cricket World Cup.

The approach has taken a long and winding road, but the South Africans will name one last tweak to a one-day squad before settling on a final 15 in just over a month.

“I think the most important thing for us is to take it step by step, game by game. Ultimately, that is what it will be like in the World Cup,” Rabada pointed out.

There has been a summer and more of discussions, game-plans and theories flung about in private and at large.

There has also been a rash of speculative squads chucked out into social media, as interested parties play their World Cup hand.

At times, one wonders if the players wouldn’t just want it to be May already.

“When we are playing a game, we are not really thinking too far ahead. We have had our chats on where we feel we went wrong, and where we need to knuckle down. Now we just need to go out there and do it. There is not much time left,” Rabada warned.

Time truly is of the essence, with just three one-day internationals left before they head to the UK in early May. Thus, every little step they feel they are taking in the right direction matters.

“I think Sunday’s game is another landmark that we need to look at in the present. Not get too far ahead of ourselves. As eager as we are to play in the World Cup, I think a little bit of time is important,” Rabada said of the need to iron out things.

There were promising signs on Wednesday night in Pretoria, not least from Rabada himself. He bowled with lightning speed, and seemed to have found his growl again.

There are still some concerns about the batting card, but the next three games are crucial for that.

JP Duminy is expected to be included for the final two ODIs in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, and the veteran left-hander has made two chunky contributions for the Cobras in his last two outings.

But he too will need more time in the middle, especially with the national team.

Rabada’s theory on time is with its merit, then.

“You always feel that you need a bit more time, to prepare a bit more, and to get yourself in the best nick. But once we get there, we just need to perform. We just need to do what we have been talking about.”

Again Rabada refused to get ahead of himself, and returned to the theme of letting time take its course.

Kingsmead is a ground that South Africa have found misery and joy at, and today is a chance to address that.

Dale Steyn is yet to play a game in the series, while the all-rounders are still sorting themselves out.

A win today will seal the series at the halfway stage, and then allow room for a bit of manoeuvre.

A chance, perhaps for players in need to get some time out in the middle.

“I think we just need a bit more time. But when we get there (to the World Cup), it’s crunch time,” Rabada smirked.

The crunch is approaching but for now, being clinical at Kingsmead is what concerns the Proteas.

Play in Durban starts at 10am, with TV coverage on SABC 3 and SuperSport 2 from 9:30am.

@whamzam17


Sunday Tribune

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