Kagiso Rabada: ‘I would have been ready for IPL in March’

The South African fast bowler says he had been looking forward to participate in the competition after a productive season last year.

Kagiso Rabada took 25 wickets from 12 games for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2019.   -  Sandeep Saxena

South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has said he would have been ready to play the Indian Premier League if it had begun in March, 2020. The 13th season of the IPL was scheduled to begin on March 29 but was indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would’ve been ready for the IPL in March. I had a tear in my groin, but I healed quite quickly, and believed I would have been able to play the IPL if it had started as scheduled,” Rabada, who represents Delhi Capitals in the IPL, said in a ‘live’ conversation on Instagram, a social media platform.

Rabada said he was keeping himself fit during the lockdown by working out in the gymnasium, but due to restrictions, hadn’t yet started training for cricket.

For the fear of the spread of the novel coronavirus, cricket matches in the near future were likely to be played in empty stadiums, without crowds, and Rabada felt it would be “bizarre” to play in those surroundings. “It’s going to be bizarre to play in empty stadiums, especially during international matches. But the world has to move on. There will still be tough competition when teams play, and people can still enjoy that on TV,” he said.

'Part of the game'

Rabada felt aggression was part and parcel of being a fast bowler. “A lot of people think I have a short temper. The thing is that sledging is a part of the game. No fast bowler is going to be nice to the batsman. But what we need to understand is that it’s never personal. After the game, you shake hands, respect each other’s crafts and move on,” he clarified.

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Replying to a fan’s question on what qualities he would want to have from other fast bowlers, Rabada said, “If I had to become a bowler by combining the best of all fast bowlers of all time, I’d pick the pace of Shoaib Akhtar, the bounce, line and length of Glenn McGrath, the aggression of Dale Steyn, and the swing of Jimmy Anderson – that’s the bowler I would love to be!”

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And which former greats would he have loved to bowl to? “I think Kevin Pietersen, Sachin Tendulkar, Vivian Richards and Ricky Ponting would be the batsmen I would love to bowl to,” Rabada said.

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