CAPE TOWN – It was towards the end of an already lengthy Proteas practice, and after a few anxious days, one could’ve forgiven Kagiso Rabada if he didn’t feel like working on his batting before the third Test against Australia at Newlands.
But the 22-year-old Rabada is not the World No 1 bowler for nothing. Such is his work ethic, the story goes that he pitched up after his over six-hour ICC appeal hearing on Monday ready to train.
In fact, he went to bowl immediately, and coach Ottis Gibson had to rein in his young buck and order him to warm-up.
So, the trials and tribulations of ‘Shouldergate’ had little negative effect on Rabada the professional cricketer.
And of course, being cleared to play after having his two-Test suspension overturned would’ve given the athletic paceman so much more energy.
But you can be sure that the barbs will continue coming his way from the Australians over the next five days – with the first ball being bowled at 10.30am on Thursday morning.
And one of those duels will also be with Rabada bat-in-hand. There is a bit of Brian Lara about the way the left-hander is able to whip the ball off his toes and drive through the offside.
It is known that Rabada loves his batting, but he prepared himself for some “chin music” that is sure to come from the likes of Mitchell Starc and Co in the Newlands nets on Wednesday.
Proteas fielding coach Justin Ontong assisted Rabada in dealing with short balls as his throw-downs consisted mainly of bouncers – outside leg, outside off, straight at the body.
Rabada looked to have it under control as he bobbed and weaved under the warm Cape Town sun.
Once he was satisfied that he had worked it all out, the Proteas spearhead spent some time with adoring fans, taking photos and signing autographs, just as he may have done at the Wanderers over the years.
Now Rabada is the man in the spotlight, with the world watching. And he is shining in the limelight…