Australia speedster Mitchell Starc has heaped praise on Proteas pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada’s bowling skills, saying that the 22-year-old is a fantastic bowler to watch when he is in full flow. Starc, who himself has dented the South African batters with his menacing reverse swing, also suggested that Rabada is only young and he will learn to stay calm on the field going forward.
Rabada, who bowled South Africa to victory with 11 wickets in the second test in Port Elizabeth, has been suspended for the remaining two Tests against Australia. He was found guilty of the Level 2 offence for making inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with Australia captain Steve Smith during the first day’s play at St George's Park. In the same Test match, Rabada was also hit with a Level 1 offence for screaming in the face of David Warner having castled the Aussie opener in the second innings for just 13.
"He's only young and made a couple of mistakes. He's a fantastic bowler to watch when he's in full flight and he's going to keep taking wickets and keep celebrating," Starc quoted by cricket.com.au as saying.
"What's he got now, four 10-fors? Dale (Steyn) has got five in a crapload more Test matches. I'm sure he'll learn going forward that you just can't get that close to the batter and the umps are going to be on you at all times. It's very much a no-no ... which I've learnt in the past," he added.
Amidst the overcast conditions on Day 1 in Port Elizabeth, Australian openers David Warner and Cameron Bancroft stitched a highly impressive 98-run stand in the first hour of the opening session. However, in the second session Aussie batsmen had no answer to Rabada’s reverse swinging deliveries as they collapsed from 161/3 to 182/8.
Rabada scalped 5 for 96 in the first innings as Australia got bundled out for 243. In the second innings, the fiery paceman produced even better spell (6 for 54) to restrict Australia on 239.
Given the fact that Rabada won’t feature in the next two Tests, Australian batters will certainly heave a sigh of relief. However, Smith believes it won’t make much of a difference in their preparation and planning.
"If he's there (in Cape Town), he's there...if he's not, he's not and it's our job to have a plan either way. If we're getting batters scoring big hundreds then that helps us out. Unfortunately we haven't been able to do that but we have a good opportunity to turn it around in the next two Tests," Smith had said after the second Test.
The third Test between South Africa and Australia will start on March 22 at Newlands, Cape Town.