Monday, 15 August 2016

Proteas must rely on Rabada

Only the best will stand out when South Africa hosts New Zealand for two Test matches, starting on 19 and 27 August. The Proteas have lost captain AB de Villiers and bowler Morne Morkel due to injury, which will not help them against an in-form Black Caps squad which is ranked one place higher on the ICC Test rankings (fifth).

Bowlers Steyn and Philander have recovered from long-term injuries and will look to mark their return in a big way when they first take on the Black Caps in the familiar Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban. But I believe the pressure lies more heavily on the shoulders of world number seven ODI bowler Kagiso Rabada. New Zealand already have the accomplished bowling pair Tim Southee and Trent Boult, to counter our Steyn and Philander. Both batting line-ups are also strong, with New Zealand's probably better because of AB's injury. This is why it is up on Rabada to tip the balance in our favour.

The 21-year-old has shown such great potential. He already has better bowling statistics than Boult and Southee, although the number of matches played is a factor. In six Tests, he has already taken three five-wicket hauls in an innings and one 10-wicket haul in a match. His Test bowling average is an impressive 24.70, and in ODIs he has taken 37 wickets at an average of 21.45. 

I cannot stop blogging about this guy. He is the next great South African bowler, and the outcome of this series, and indeed of many more to come, are at his mercy.

Kagiso Rabada holds the fate of the Proteas in his hands. CC Search image.

This is the South African team for the series: Faf du Plessis (captain), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Stephen Cook, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Dean Elgar, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn and Stiaan van Zyl.