After South Africa's hopes of making it to the World Cup semifinals were dashed on Sunday, captain Faf du Plessis revealed that he and the team management had tried to stop Kagiso Rabada from participating in the Indian Premier League, this year. The plan was to keep the youngster fit for the World Cup.
But that did not happen.
Rabada featured in the IPL for Delhi Capitals and scalped 25 wickets, before he was withdrawn due to a back injury. Rabada had a poor outing in the World Cup, where he could scalp only six wickets with an average of 50.83.
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Asked about Rabada's workload, du Plessis said: "I don't think we'll ever have a perfect answer for that because he's probably biting on too much."
"I mean, I spoke about it before the IPL even started, that it's important that we try and find space to rest our three-format players, because they play all the formats all the time, and then IPL.
"So I don't think it's not necessarily just the IPL, but it was important for a few guys to rest; and the fact that they didn't meant that they — you know, they came into the tournament not fresh. That's not an excuse; that's just a fact. And KG is — you can see that his pace is probably a little bit down from where he normally is," the captain explained.
"But that challenge we are going to have as a team all the time. You can't unfortunately go back with the national side and say to KG: Listen, you're going to rest for the next two series'. He's such a big player for the team; it's a difficult thing to do. You know, you need guys...you need three or four or five bowlers in the wings waiting, so you can have a bit of a rotation system.
"I mean, that was the plan with Anrich [Nortje] in the back-up and pipeline, and he got injured, as well. So therefore all our pace is gone and there's so much responsibility on KG to carry that load of being the lone fast bowler."