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“We want a whitewash”, Kagiso Rabada warns India of Test series rout

South Africa fast bowler, Kagiso Rabada, said the team was aware India skipper Virat Kohli hit a century at Johannesburg on the last tour in 2013-14, but was determined to complete a Test series sweep

cricket Updated: Jan 19, 2018 19:59 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times, Johannesburg
India vs South Africa,South Africa vs India,Kagiso Rabada
South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada (L) says his team is ready to go for the kill against Indian cricket team in the third Test in Johannesburg. (AFP)

South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada warned India they should be ready to face more misery after the series defeat at Centurion, with the third and final Test to start at the Wanderers on Wednesday.

Having taken an unassailable 2-0 series lead, South Africa are taking the weekend off, but Rabada assured they are still determined to make a clean sweep.

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“Playing against the Indians is extremely challenging. They are known for their great batsmen and they’ve got really good bowlers as well. So they are very competitive, they’re throwing everything they have at us and their batsmen want to make a statement. They’ve made a statement everywhere else in the world, and wanted to come here and really beat us. So, things are going to get a bit messy out there,” Rabada said at a promotional event.

“But that’s just the nature of it, with two quality sides coming up against each other. But off the field, we’re friends. It’s always enjoyable bowling to the likes of Virat Kohli. He was named ICC Player of the Year, so it’s quite cool to go up against the best,” said Rabada, who echoed skipper Faf du Plessis’ view that India depend too much on Kohli.

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“I think they do rely on him, just like we rely on a couple of players. I’m not saying they don’t have any quality players, they do. But it’s just a fact, he scores most of their runs.”

South Africa are undergoing a bowling transformation under Caribbean head coach Ottis Gibson. Playing four pacers is almost a norm now. Lungi Ngidi’s debut at Centurion gave the attack a cutting-edge and Rabada is looking forward to a long partnership with him.

“We played together in under-19. We even toured India, but he got injured unfortunately and his trip was cut short. But we played together at school and have a history. So, it’s just nice to play with your friend from when you were a teenager. Long may it continue, and we can form a great partnership.”

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Rabada is aware Kohli hit a century (119) at the Wanderers on India’s last tour in 2013-14, but is backing South Africa to make it 3-0.

“I haven’t seen the pitch yet. Actually, cricket’s off my mind at the moment, we’re having some fun right now. But the hard work starts again on Monday. We’ve played here lots and know how the conditions are. In saying that, India played really well here the last time, Kohli got a hundred,” he said.

“Wanderers is a good wicket. It’s normally a moving wicket. There’s always a result at the Wanderers. You’re sort of never really ‘in’ on that pitch. At the moment we want to focus on what we have to do now, that is to beat India. Every game you go into, you want to win. So, we want to get a whitewash.”

First Published: Jan 19, 2018 19:43 IST