South Africa’s star speedster Kagiso Rabada believes that the “game is in the balance” despite the hosts bowling out India for 223 in their first innings on the opening day of the ongoing third and final series-deciding Test at Newlands, Cape Town on Tuesday (January 11).
Rabada, who returned with the impressive figures of 4/73 in 22 overs in his 50th Test, said that the South African batters will have to dig deep to win the series-deciding final Test, as India has already got the important wicket of their skipper, Dean Elgar, cheaply (3) on Tuesday.
South Africa’s score read 17/1 at stumps on the opening day, with Aiden Markram (8) and night-watchman Keshav Maharaj (6) in the middle of the ongoing third and final Test against India.
Rabada said in the media interaction: “The game is in the balance. Obviously, we would have liked to win the toss. But we did well to restrict them for 223 but we are going to have to bat well.”
The pacer further added, “I think our biggest strength is that we're just relentless and resilient and that forced us to learn quickly. You're always going to learn when you're playing opposition. So I think that holds us in good stead for the future.”
Speaking about the conditions at Newlands, Rabada said: “There's still a quite a bit in that wicket. We don't have any control over the conditions. It looks like a perfect Test wicket where batters have to grind. I think it's not going to change much tomorrow.”
Playing in his 50th Test, Rabada took four wickets in the first innings, including India captain Virat Kohli (79), but he refused to call it a perfect day on the occasion.
The pacer further noted, “I wouldn't say a perfect day, very seldom you get a perfect day. I had a good day and things went my way. Generally, what we try to do is to be consistent as possible going into every game. Just tried to do the same things, nothing changes. Today things went my way I think I'm feeling good about the way I bowled. I was feeling decent out there.”
On how he planned Kohli’s wicket, Rabada revealed: “The plan was to bowl good line and length. It was pretty obvious to try to swing away as he was going out that way. He was very patient at leaving the ball. He batted extremely well, well done to him.”
The star pacer also lauded the left-arm pacer Marco Jansen, who snared 3/55 in the first innings against India in Cape Town.
Rabada signed off by saying, “He's got a burning desire to play here. He's got the x-factor. He's got a tough character, that's the first thing you look for in a cricketer. The natural talent is there and he has the ability to win matches. He's an exciting prospect for South Africa.”
(With PTI Inputs)