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Ken Borland

Rabada worn out at T20 World Cup, but looks forward to knocking over Aussie batsmen

Posted on March 14, 2023 by Ken

Kagiso Rabada has admitted to feeling worn out at the T20 World Cup, but the Proteas pace spearhead is excited about knocking over a few Australian batsmen in the Test series that is set to begin in Brisbane on December 17.

Rabada ended October by producing an intense, pressure-building bowling spell, as well as two superbly athletic outfield catches, in the impressive T20 World Cup win over India, but he was then flat and ineffective against Pakistan and the Netherlands as South Africa made a shock exit from the tournament at the group stage.

The 27-year-old said that is why he decided to rest rather than play any four-day domestic cricket ahead of the crunch series back in Australia.

“I felt like I needed to rest, it’s been a long year,” Rabada said on the morning of the Proteas’ departure for Australia. “It is a concern the amount of cricket we are playing and it needs to be managed.

“You can feel the fatigue in the intensity of your play, it’s just not where you want it to be. It catches up with you and at international level you really want to be playing at high intensity.

“I’m not trying to make excuses, I wasn’t up to scratch at the World Cup and I did have a disappointing tournament. I didn’t feel like I had great energy. I tried my best but it felt like the harder I tried, nothing really came out.

“But I am excited about playing some cricket now, playing against quality opposition like Australia always seems to bring the best out of me and I have good memories of playing there,” Rabada said.

In the three Tests in Australia in 2016, Rabada took 15 wickets at an average of 22.40 and his overall record against them is outstanding – 38 wickets in seven matches at 20.50.

Rabada has had some famously fiery exchanges with the Australian batsmen, and some of the language thrown around then probably belongs in the Adult Classifieds, but as befits the leader of the South African attack, he says he will never back down.

“We will be tested over there and against them it always seems like we are going up against some sort of feud, that is always extremely apparent,” Rabada said.

“It’s always a good contest and,  as much as nerves and passion are incredibly important, sometimes you must just let it happen. It always seems to be a challenge against Australia.

“But I won’t back down to the challenge, if they want to come hard then I will stand up to it. That’s what competition is,” Rabada said firmly.

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