Rabada is part of the Test squad for the current series against the West Indies, but has yet to make his debut.
“He’s a great athlete and he’s got an immaculate work ethic. He’s got some gas for a 19-year-old and he’s built like a racehorse — a thoroughbred at that,” said Donald of the 191cm tall, right-arm fast bowler.
“He just eats and sleeps thinking about the Proteas cap and he will be around for a long time. His time will come, there’s no doubt about it.”
Rabada took 14 wickets for the South Africans when they won the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year, and has since secured a contract with the Highveld Lions.
More recently Rabada made his debut for the senior national team in the T20 series against hosts Australia in November where he picked up his first wicket for South Africa.
During the two Tests against the West Indies, Donald spent time in the nets working with Rabada.
“He’s a young pup. What I like about him is that he asks great questions.
“I’m just blown away by the knowledge this young man has at the age of 19. He wants it badly — that’s the most impressive thing about Kagiso.”
Donald made his debut in international cricket in 1991, at the age of 25, because of South Africa’s isolation from international cricket.
Known as ‘White Lightning’, he was plagued by injuries throughout his career, but anticipated Rabada’s career would be better managed with the Proteas.
“It will really be about how we look after KG over the next few years and that we don’t unleash him at the wrong time.
“Because confidence is a massive thing. He’s shown it in the Twenty20 series he played, and what really impressed me was how he embraced that opening game. We’ve got a very exciting young star on the horizon and it’s just a pleasure to work with him.”