Kagiso Rabada: Every team has a good bowling attack for the World Cup

South Africa pace machine Kagiso Rabada talks about the benefits of IPL and how it is a good preparatory tournament for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 that starts from May 30 in the UK.

Kagiso Rabada, who turns out for Delhi Capitals, says Cricket South Africa wants its bowlers to come back from the IPL to be able to get some rest and get ready for the World Cup.   -  AP

“He is the perfect bowler for a captain,” that’s how South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis describes Kagiso Rabada. The Proteas pace spearhead is an all-format bowler. The pace package offers inswingers and outswingers with the old and new ball, a vicious slower one, nasty bouncers and endless yorkers — a menacing one uprooted Andre Russell’s middle-stump in an intense Indian Premier League Super Over against Kolkata Knight Riders this season. He also defended a Super Over target of 10 runs to hand Delhi Capitals a three-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders.

Rabada also recorded his best Twenty20 bowling figures, 4/21 against Royal Challengers Bangalore, to up his IPL ante.

In an interview with Sportstar, the 23-year-old superstar bowler spoke on the IPL lessons and the workload management leading to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 that starts from May 30 in the UK. Behind the angry face while running in, there lies a youngster who wants to learn.

How is the IPL shaping you up for the World Cup ahead? How good a preparatory tournament is this?

In the IPL, you are always under pressure and that opens your mind up. You’re always playing good players and there’s really no game where you get to relax or chill. You can never do that, you are always on your toes and it teaches you how to deal with pressure.

What have been the learning points from the tournament so far?

I think it’s just the finishing of the games that we were lacking in and identifying key moments to make sure we ensure victory. The important thing is to learn from each game how to close the games better, which is what we have lacked in some games this year.

There is a lot of noise in Indian cricket circles about the workload of the World Cup probables. Does picking and choosing games help? How did your body feel after the first six games?

Cricket South Africa also wanted us bowlers to come back from the IPL to be able to get some rest and get ready for the World Cup. We’ll see what happens. But I think bowling four overs is not much of a risk, but at the same time, you never know. It’s something that officials need to take a clever decision about. The precautionary measure would be to take some rest, especially these days, as fast bowlers are quite the talk of the cricket world — preserving fast bowling as an art, injury prevention and management. So the precaution would be to pull them out a bit early. It’s way different than being a batsman. It should not be taken lightly.

Rabada simply loves playing for South Africa. The Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis too has a good opinion of the paceman.   -  AFP

 

What are your thoughts on the South African bowling unit for the World Cup?

Well, I feel every team at the moment, not just us, has a good bowling attack. That’s why this World Cup will be so exciting in my opinion. It won’t be easy for any team. Pakistan, England, Australia, us, India; every team has a decent bowling (attack). India have proved to be really good in recent times.

How has it been to work alongside Ricky Ponting in Delhi Capitals? He will be at the World Cup as well, as an assistant to Justin Langer, the Australia coach...

It’s amazing to work with not just Ricky but also Sourav Ganguly, James Hopes, (Mohammad) Kaif and the rest of them who have played the game for so long and so well. Their inputs are precious. People of that stature, just to be around them, just picking their brain is something unbelievable. And just listening to them speak, I do enjoy it a lot.

South Africa has lost some of its fast bowlers, Morne Morkel and then Duanne Olivier to the Kolpak deal. Your thoughts on the vacuum that gets created whenever a player leaves? How tough is it to deal with such losses?

Kolpak is a touchy issue; people are entitled to their choices of course. For me, I would prefer if the player is playing for South Africa, I would prefer that he stays. But it's their life at the end of the day. It’s a problem for the board to try and fix if they can; the players can’t do much really. But playing for the country is a big deal in my opinion.

When does South Africa start the World Cup camp?

Right now, I would like to give my best for the Delhi Capitals for as long as I can. We’re yet to get an exact date for the camp.

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