South Africa speedster Kagiso Rabada enjoyed an impressive outing in the second Test of the series against India in Johannesburg. Rabada took six wickets in the game – three in each innings – as the Proteas registered a series-levelling seven-wicket win at the Wanderers.
Being one of the leading pacers in this South Africa XI, Rabada had gone through a rough patch in early 2021 during the series against Pakistan, but made a good comeback towards the later half of the year. In the ongoing series, Rabada has taken 13 wickets across two games so far.
During the post-match presentation after the win in Wanderers, South Africa captain Dean Elgar had said that “sometimes KG needs a rocket” and “there was something that happened behind the scenes but we’re not going to get into that.”
Elgar, during his interaction with the media, talked in detail about his conversations with Rabada.
“I went up to KG and I said to him, ‘You are an immensely respected cricketer within our group and at the moment I don’t think you are conducting yourself extremely well,” Elgar said.
“I know what KG is capable of. When KG’s got his tail up, there’s no better bowler than him and I have experienced quite a few guys who have been part of this team. It was a good chat.
“I can have those chats with KG and he responds extremely well. He takes it away, he lets it process and thinks about it overnight and then he comes back the next day with a scenario for me.”
Elgar had confronted Rabada after the first Test after he had gone wicketless on the first day but ended up with seven wickets.
“He (Rabada) was the one who came to me and said what we spoke about: I hit the nail on the head,” Elgar said.
“KG has got that attitude, and he’s got the want and he wants to bowl and he wants to contribute in a massive way. You have to utilise that as a captain.”
The Proteas skipper said Rabada “can sometimes be a little bit too relaxed and he needs to understand that his performance on the field and his performance in the change-room is huge.”
South Africa coach Mark Boucher also revealed a “bit of a spark” was needed to get Rabada into the zone.
“There’s certain guys – Dale Steyn was one of them – who at certain times in his career need harsh words behind closed doors to bring the best out of him,” Boucher told ‘SuperSport’.
“KG, that spell he bowled, broke the game open for us. There was a bit of a spark in the dressing room; maybe it was what was needed in order to get him into that space.
“And we know when KG is like that it’s difficult to get the ball away from him. But also you want him on your side rather than the opposition team.
“There were fair words that were said and I think he’s taken it on board and we’re hoping we can get him into that sweet spot again for the next Test because it can only bode well for us.”
The third and final Test begins at Cape Town on January 11.