Kagiso Rabada believes first test is still winnable despite late collapse
By Stuart Hess 24m ago
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JOHANNESBURG – Kagiso Rabada believes the first Test in Karachi is “definitely” winnable for the Proteas, despite the collapse in the last half an hour of play on the third day.
South Africa lost three wickets for 16 runs in eight overs, including both set batsmen, Rassie van der Dussen, who made 64 and Aiden Markram who scored 74, in what could be a match defining period.
The tourists lead by just 29 runs with six wickets in hand, heading into the fourth day on Friday, but Rabada, who picked up his 200th Test wicket in the morning session, felt there is enough talent left in the Proteas dressing room, while a deteriorating surface could still play into their hands.
“You have to believe as a team. Aiden and Rassie batted extremely well, and in the subcontinent wickets can fall in clusters that way,” said Rabada.
“We are constantly being tested and we’ll be tested again tomorrow, just like they got tested when we had them four down overnight (on the first day), we are up for the challenge, we have to be. We will give it our best shot and hopefully get into a position as a team and get some runs on the board and set Pakistan a good target in the last innings.”
The pitch certainly provided the spinners with assistance – Yasir Shah who claimed two of the three wickets to fall in that final 30 minutes, was understandably ripping his leg break – while the 34 year old Nautam Ali, who picked up Markram’s wicket, was patient, and occasionally got the ball to bite out of the rough.
There is also uneven bounce, especially with the new ball, something to which Dean Elgar can attest, after he copped a painful blow on his left pinky, off a delivery from Shaheen Afridi that jumped off a good length.
“It seems like the ball is turning a bit, it seems like the harder ball tends to have variable bounce more than with a softer ball,”Rabada explained.
In claiming his 200th wicket – when he bowled Hasan Ali – Rabada joined a club that is made up of just eight South Africans. He is the fourth youngest bowler to get to 200, and did so using the third fewest number of deliveries – 8 154 – with only Pakistan legend Waqar Younis (7 725) and former teammate Dale Steyn (7 848) needing fewer balls.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) January 28, 2021
“It’s a massive feat to be included among such names,” said the 25 year old, who is playing in his 44th Test. “When you start playing you don’t ever think you would be on such a list or have such statistics. All you want to do is be the best that you can. I’m really glad. It is satisfying, it’s a great milestone, but the show goes on.”