Centurion: South Africa pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada stated that captain Dean Elgar is aware his mission is not over yet with South Africa still needing 211 runs to win on day five of first Test against India. He added that the team has to show belief in itself to complete an improbable chase. Elgar put up a strong resistance of unbeaten 52 runs as South Africa reached 94/4 at stumps on day four.
“Dean has done this countless times, where he shows fight when it is the toughest. He did it today and will know his job is not over. He is out there, doing his best for his team and country. So, he is leading from the front,” said Rabada in the virtual press conference.
“We just have to show belief. We will strategise overnight and work out how we want to approach this. Every sportsman has to believe that they can win from any position. They have to have that belief. There has been a chat over when it is going to rain or not. At the same time, it is an uncontrollable and have to think of actually coming out and having a full day’s play of cricket,” added Rabada.
Rabada, who took 4/42 in the second innings, was in praise of debutant all-rounder Marco Jansesn picking 4/55 after taking 1/69 in the first innings. “He’s a phenomenal talent as everyone has now seen. He’s an awkward customer to face. He’s tall and has got some pace and can swing the ball as well. So, there’s seam, bounce and pace coming at you. In the second innings, he justified his selection and why the selectors, captain and all of us have faith in him. He seems like he wants to learn and is a hard worker. So, rest is up to him to decide what he is really keen on doing all for himself and for his team.”
Talking about the changing nature of the pitch, Rabada said, “I think the pitch was a bit slow, very slow on day one. It then quickened up and the movement just happens quicker. Batsmen have less time to react as the ball shoots up through a little bit more. But I also do feel like we tightened up our lines too.”
The 26-year-old was in praise of India’s pace attack doing well at the SuperSport Park, especially with Jasprit Bumrah knocking over Rassie van der Dussen and Keshav Maharaj in the last 20 minutes of day four. “They have got some quality bowlers. Shami is very experienced and Bumrah also, quite experienced. Siraj has been bowling well for them in some time now in the recent past. They have got a good attack and have got pace and skills. So, they are showing why they are a good attack.”
Rabada, who bowled 17 no-balls in the match, signed off by saying he will look to improve upon this issue ahead of the second Test at Johannesburg. “It’s not acceptable. It’s something that I need to work on. The rhythm is not too bad. Quite happy with it as the bowling has been better.”