Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has revealed that he felt rusty and out of place during the past season.
The 25-year-old celebrated five years in the national team in the 2019/2020 season which ended disappointingly for the group at large.
Rabada himself did not fair too badly over the past 12 months. He claimed 21 wickets in six Tests and five wickets in his five Twenty20 international outings.
“The past season was a disappointment,” Rabada said. “Even if I look back and I reflect and see that my stats were okay, I just felt really rusty and a bit out of place, but I realise that it was never supposed to be easy, so I’m taking it day by day trying to achieve my new set of goals.”
Looking back at his career for the Proteas overall, Rabada admits that time has flown by since he first featured in the green and gold playing at Adelaide against Australia in November 2014. Less than a year later he became a regular feature in the side and he has not looked back since.
“I feel that this five years has really gone by very quickly,” he mused. “There’s been a huge amount of cricket that was played. I’m just really glad that I can get a rest, not in the way that it has come, but it’s been good and I’ve really enjoyed my time off. It has allowed me to think about what I really want and it does make it easier to set goals.”
There is currently no cricket or sport on the go in South Africa due to the global COVID-19 pandemic that has brought the world to a standstill. However, things are expected to change in the coming weeks after the lockdown levels were eased to Level 3 from June 1.
Rabada meanwhile, has often been on the receiving end of criticism for his over-exuberance and feisty attitude on the field. He says he does not read much into what people say and will continue to strive to be the best that he can possibly be.
“I just think it’s passion (not a repeat of mistakes),” he added. “Everyone has their own opinion, which they are entitled to. I’ve identified things that I needed to identify and I will address them with the people that are closest to me and who I feel will be helping me address it.
“I just feel that in life, everyone will criticise you in some way or the other. I think it’s important that you do not take what they say to heart.
“You’ll always have critics and not everyone will agree with what you do but as long as you are true to yourself, that’s the most important thing because then you can grow, but what others say about you should not affect you at all,” Rabada concluded.