Kagiso Rabada might say it’s something he’s not entirely comfortable yet but he’s indisputably the Proteas bowling leader – at least in the ODI series against Sri Lanka.
The basic stats don’t exactly “help” his “case” either.
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The dynamic 23-year-old quick will play in his 50th ODI in Wednesday’s second match of the five-game series in Dambulla and he’s the most experienced member of that attack.
Andile Phehlukwayo (26), Wiaan Mulder (2), Lungi Ngidi (5) and Tabraiz Shamsi (8) combined don’t even come near his tally of caps.
“I haven’t come to grips with the fact that I am the leader,” said Rabada on Tuesday.
“I don’t see it that way. I have a responsibility towards the team as the opening bowler. Of all the bowlers, I have got the most experience along with Shamsi.
“If you look at it that way, we are sort of leading. I don’t see myself as a much of a leader – all I know is that I have got some responsibility. If someone wants help, then I am all out to give that.”
Not that the tag seems to trouble him unduly – Rabada took a superb 4/41 in last weekend’s opening ODI.
Despite playing at the same venue, he doesn’t expect the same amount of assistance from the surface.
“I thought it was a good pitch for the first game, more what you expect in one-day cricket after the Test pitches were completely different – sandpits,” said Rabada.
“But I don’t think there’ll be that much assistance tomorrow, so we’ll need to continue our game plans and it’s all about adapting, you need to bring different skills and lengths. You’re not going to get wickets the same way as you do in South Africa, you need to get wickets in different ways and our game plans are why we came out on top. You have to try and nail the basics as well.”