Rabada calls Kohli immature, says can't take abuse

South African pacer Kagiso Rabada said that Virat Kohli is a 'phenomenal' player but cannot take abuse on the field referring to an incident from this year's IPL.

kagiso rabada

Rabada referred to his confrontation with Kohli during the IPL 2019.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

India starts its World Cup 2019 campaign against South Africa on Wednesday in Southampton. Ahead of the clash, Kagiso Rabada has given India captain, Virat Kohli — a good reason to fire away.

In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, the South African pacer said that Kohli "comes across as very immature and can't take the abuse".

Rabada made this comment in reference to an Indian Premier League match between Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore this year, where both the players got involved in a short verbal exchange.

"He hit me for a boundary and then he had a word. And then when you give it back to him, he gets angry. I don't get the guy. Maybe he does it because it gets him going, but that comes across as very immature for me. He is a phenomenal player but he can't take the abuse," Rabada said.

However, for Rabada, such incidents do not distract him on the field, rather they get him more involved in the contest.

"In fact, for me it just wakes me up, if anything. If somebody comes at me and says, "I'm going to hit you. I'm going to clobber you. You are soft", it wakes me up because - it's a fight-or-flight response," Rabada explained.

Rabada as a sportsperson understands the importance of emotions in a game and expresses it on the field when necessary. Somehow, he fails to understand why is the Indian captain always angry on the field?

"That guy (Kohli) always seems to be angry on the field. 'Is he really angry? Then I thought to myself what it would take for me to become really, really angry.' That is going to happen very few and far times in between. And becoming angry like that - is that what gets him to play well? Do you know what I am saying? I can't psyche myself to be angry," he said.