Rabada keeping a “best possible mind frame” ahead of World Cup

KAGISO Rabada to lead the Proteas’attack at the T20 World Cup next month. | AFP

KAGISO Rabada to lead the Proteas’attack at the T20 World Cup next month. | AFP

Published May 22, 2024



AT JUST the age of 28-years-old, Kagiso Rabada is all set to lead South African bowling attack at the Twenty20 World Cup starting on June 3, and with the Proteas history with ICC events, the spotlight will once again be on getting the monkey off their backs.

The former SA U-19 fast bowler has said the task at hand is pretty straight forward, and it requires not over thinking, but being professional, applying strategies and plans with every match, and at the end it will boil down to performing under pressure and the execution of it all should easily see them take the monkey off their backs.

More than the monkey, It is rather the elephant in the room that has been making waves ever since the squad was selected by Proteas coach Rob Walter a couple of weeks ago. Rabada’s name has been making waves in what has been the most talked about squad selections in recent times.

Fresh from the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Punjab Kings seam bowler was the only black African player selected in the 15-man squad to go to the World Cup next month.

“It’s a sensitive topic, and I know it has been news but at the end of the day, the coach chose a team and that team was signed off and that’s what we’ll have to deal with,”said Rabada.

“But in terms of transformation. I think with the sport of cricket, when an opportunity is given to a player of colour it’s important to nurture that talent so that they can also be world class.

“I won’t comment about who should or shouldn’t be in the team, but what I will say is that black African talent needs to be nurtured. Heading to the World Cup, you can’t think about that stuff, as a player it becomes something that will add to you not being in your best possible mind frame to perform.”

This season’s IPL has had a heavy flow of runs with scores well in excess of 200 runs. The nature of wickets have played a huge part in the scores, something Rabada feels will not play a factor in New York in the Proteas opening fixtures even though it’s unknown territory with a dropped in pitch.

“We’ve always had conversations as a bowling team, it’s all about bowling as a unit, we want to be the best bowling unit in the world,” he said.

“I guess we’ll find out how the wicket will play in New York, but those are the uncontrollables and we’ll see what gets given to us and adapt.

“The IPL is definitely shifting towards the batters because of the impact players, and the wickets there are generally good to bat on. There is not much in it for the bowlers in the wickets, all the scores above 230 to 250 were all on really flat pitches that didn’t offer a lot to the bowlers.

“The season has leaned more towards the batters, but at the same time it’s a nice challenge to be able to restrict the batters especially on good pitches, but there has to be something in it for both batters and bowlers, otherwise you may as well call it a game of batting and not cricket.” he concluded.