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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

India vs South Africa: Aggressive Kagiso Rabada reaps his reward

Ind vs Sa: Buoyed by the lively pitch on offer, every time Rabada ran into bowl here in Pune, there was a sense of anticipation on Thursday.

cricket Updated: Oct 10, 2019 20:31 IST
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune: South Africa cricket team player Kagiso Rabada celebrates the dismissal of Cheteshwar Pujara.
Pune: South Africa cricket team player Kagiso Rabada celebrates the dismissal of Cheteshwar Pujara.(PTI)
         

The match is nicely poised for Friday morning, what with the best in the business, India’s Virat Kohli and South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada, sitting pretty on an unbeaten half-century and three wickets respectively. Buoyed by the lively pitch on offer, every time Rabada ran into bowl here in Pune, there was a sense of anticipation on Thursday. Overshadowed by Mohammed Shami in the series opener, the SA quick was back to his aggressive best. And by the time India suspended their innings due to bad light, Rabada had figures of 18.1-2-48-3.

Also Read: ‘Na kabhi dekha, na socha,’ legendary cricketer on India’s pace attack

Rohit Sharma had hurt South Africa with a hundred in each innings at Vishakapatnam. But here he was Rabada’s first victim, dismissed with a peach of a delivery. The ball landed back of a length and kissed the shoulder of Sharma’s bat, allowing wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock to complete proceedings with a straightforward catch.

The well-set Cheteshwar Pujara was Rabada’s second victim, who too was out in similar fashion -- the edge being caught in the slips. And the third scalp was that of centurion Mayank Agarwal, drawn forward into a defensive prod and caught by a falling first slip, Faf du Plessis.

With better support, Rabada could have been even more dangerous. He was not able to build the pressure as he would’ve liked, mainly because debutant Anrich Nortje was too full in his length and ended up conceding easy boundaries.

Also Read: Cheteshwar Pujara hits a six again and registers a unique first

“It was fantastic to see him bowl, especially, the spell after lunch,” said Vincent Barnes, SA’s bowling coach. “I thought he bowled well in Vizag as well. Today there were a lot of signs that he is getting back to the top.”

At his best, Rabada is a feisty character and today he was all about his aggression. On Thursday, Pujara often found himself at the receiving end. “He is someone who always likes to say something to the batsmen. As a batsman, I’m always aware when he tries to disturb my concentration,” he said.

First Published: Oct 10, 2019 20:27 IST

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