Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada hopes to maintain his position at the top of the Test bowling rankings with consistent performances throughout the season.
Rabada became only the seventh South African bowler to top the rankings whne they were released on Tuesday, following his contribution in the 72-run win against India in the first Test match at Newlands.
The 22-year-old has made a meteoric rise since his debut against India in 2015, and recently became the youngest bowler to take 100 wickets for South Africa. He hopes to “maintain performances” in the green and gold, but most importantly, continue to improve on his role within the attack.
“It feels great to be at the top of the rankings,” he said on Wednesday. “ It is what I have always wanted to do, hopefully I can keep doing what I’m doing and keep trying to win games for the team. I want to keep getting better and better.
“There is always something new that you can work on,” he said of his skill. “ That is how I have felt in my career so far, there is always a problem. Even those skills that I have, there is always polishing that you must do, I’m not 100% accomplished in my skills, I have to do more and more. I’m striving for perfection, you are never going to reach perfection but I can at least try getting there and there about.”
Rabada feels the key to his success has been the ability to adapt to the conditions, along with being part of a skilled and diverse attack which he has learnt from. He is under no illusion of his role in the side as a strike bowler, but will always put the team first ahead of his personal ambitions.
“I bowl where the team needs me to bowl,” he said. “ I would ideally like to open the bowling but it is tough at the moment because there are two good bowlers opening the bowling. I like to do what the team requires me to do, and set my own aspirations aside. I have been happy with the role I have been given, which is to try and get wickets and defend at the same time.
“It feels great,” he said of bowling with Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander.
“Unfortunately Dale is out of the attack. It would have been an extra bonus bowling with someone of his calibre.
“I’m glad that I have bowled with him and hopefully I will bowl with him in the future. Our bowling attack is very skilled as you will have seen in the past and in the last game that we played. It’s great to be playing alongside these veterans.”