CAPE TOWN: South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada’s back injury could yet prove to be a “blessing in disguise”, according to former Proteas paceman Allan Donald.
At the age of just 22, Rabada is already on top of the International Cricket’s Test bowling rankings and a key figure in a South Africa pace attack that has been having to do without the sidelined Dale Steyn.
Rabada played a central role in South Africa’s recent 3-1 Test series win over Australia — their first on home soil against the Australians since re-admission.
A bitterly-contested series saw Rabada successfully appeal against a ban for colliding with Steve Smith in Port Elizabeth that would have ruled him out of the final two Tests of a campaign that was overshadowed by the Australia ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town involving then-captain Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.
Rabada was named man-of-the-series after taking 23 wickets at an average of under 20 apiece, but he bowled only eight overs in Australia’s second innings in the final Test in Johannesburg.
He was subsequently diagnosed with a lower-back stress reaction and ruled out of all cricket for up to three months by Proteas team management.
That meant Rabada could not take up a contract to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament where the Delhi Daredevils had bid $646,000 for his services at January’s player auction.