'Rambo' Rabada is human‚ even if Bangladesh don't think so
“No-one is Rambo‚ we are all human beings‚” Kagiso Rabada said on Saturday in trying to explain how he handled the expectation that is part of his lot as South Africa’s highest-profile cricketer.
Rabada may struggle to convince Bangladesh of his mere mortality.
He ripped through their first innings in the second test‚ claiming 5/33 to become the leading wicket-tacker in test cricket this year.
That condemned the visitors to a total of 147 in reply to South Africa’s first innings of 573/4 declared.
Faf du Plessis enforced the follow-on and Bangladesh were seven without loss when bad light forced the close.
They will resume on Sunday still 419 runs away from making South Africa bat again.
Given the ineptitude of Bangladesh’s batting on a flat pitch did Rabada reckon he was playing something more like a first-class match than a test?
“I don’t think you can compare a first-class game to an international game‚ but it feels like one because there isn’t a crowd‚” Rabada said.
“It’s very peaceful.”
But he had to agree that South Africa have and will face stronger opposition.
“It gets much tougher than Bangladesh‚ of course‚” Rabada said.
“It gets harder from here.”
Indeed. Things will only get more difficult for South Africa when India and then Australia tour this summer.
Did Bangladesh’s obvious weaknesses make it difficult to keep minds from wandering to the bigger assignments that lay ahead?
“Right now we are focusing on now‚” Rabada said.
“When India and Australia come we will focus on them.”
Then‚ like now‚ much will be expected from the most recognisable face in the game in this country.
“You have to find ways to cope with it‚” Rabada said.
“The best players and the guys who have been in the longest have found ways to cope with it.
“Sometimes it can get bigger and you have to find a new way to deal with it.”
Bangladesh will have a lot to deal with on Sunday‚ and much of it will be delivered by Rambo Rabada.