#360view: Proteas need to preserve Rabada

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Kagiso Rabada is a rising star in international cricket.

South Africa continued there excellent record in Perth, winning their third Test in a row at the WACA. And a major credit for the win goes to the 21-year-old pacer Kagiso Rabada.

Ever since he gave a glimpse of his talent during the U-19 World Cup in 2014, Rabada has made rapid strides in the international arena. His height, pace and ability to swing the ball late make him an irresistible talent and it is no wonder the Proteas are going ga-ga about him, even though he has played just nine Tests.

What makes Rabada’s Perth effort even more impressive is the fact that South Africa lost the services of the leader of their attack – Dale Steyn – in the first innings itself.

Steyn’s shoulder injury will keep him out for a long time, and maybe affect his career as well. His injury must have been dispiriting for the Proteas but full marks to Rabada for stepping up to the challenge right in the middle of a Test.

His seven scalps in a match where even Aussie pacer Mitchell Starc struggled in the second innings show that he has it in him to create wicket-taking opportunities and that is a priceless ability. However, his workload is a matter of concern.

Rabada bowled 51 overs in the Test, the second most by any quick in the match and on a hard Perth surface, his body must have taken quite a hit. Even though he said the number of overs don’t bother him, the team management must step in and not let such a talent grind himself to dust early in his career.

The Proteas have Morne Morkel in the squad and he should regain his fitness for the second Test. Morkel, along with Vernon Philander, should share the bulk of the load as they are the senior bowlers and allow the Proteas to use Rabada the way he should be – as a strike weapon.

The Johannesburg pacer has a long road ahead of him and there is no limit to what he can achieve as a fast bowler. Rabada needs to be given time to realise his potential and develop his bowling.

It is said a genuine fast bowler has only a certain number of deliveries in his body. South Africa must use them judiciously.

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Brathwaite & Holder put West Indies in charge

West Indies could salvage some Sharjah pride.

West Indies’ hopes of finishing a disappointing tour with a consolation victory over Pakistan were boosted on the third day of the third Test in Sharjah.

Defeat in the first two Tests condemned the Windies to a series loss, following on from 3-0 defeats in the one-day and Twenty20 formats.

But Kraigg Brathwaite’s efforts with the bat were followed by a good bowling display to put them in a strong position in the final match in the UAE.

Brathwaite became just the fifth West Indian to carry his bat in a Test with an unbeaten 142 in the tourists’ total of 337.

And Pakistan closed on 87 for four in their second innings, a lead of only 31 runs.

The Windies resumed on 244 for six, with Brathwaite five runs short of a century. He wasted no time reaching the landmark, hitting a four off the first ball and then a two later on in the opening over to bring up his fifth Test ton.

The opener received good support from captain Jason Holder (16) and, in particular, Devendra Bishoo, with whom he put on 60 before the spinner was out for 27.

Wahab Riaz eventually unlocked the West Indies tail, following the wicket of Bishoo by snaring Alzarri Joseph and Shannon Gabriel to complete a five-wicket haul and bring the innings to a close.

Pakistan’s second innings began steadily enough until Holder claimed three wickets in as many overs.

Sami Aslam, Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan all fell to the paceman and, when Misbah-ul-Haq holed out to Roston Chase in the deep off the bowling of Bishoo, Pakistan were 48 for four, still eight runs behind.

Azhar Ali (45 not out) and Sarfraz Ahmed (19no) stemmed the flow and ensured Pakistan reached the close without further loss, but there is a lot of work still to be done.

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WATCH - Zafar Ansari selects his all-time XI

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Zafar Ansari.

England cricketer Zafar Ansari, who made his Test debut in the ongoing match between England and Bangladesh, selected his all-time XI for the Lord’s Cricket Ground YouTube channel.

Ansari’s choices are unconventional to say the least. The 24-year-old hasn’t gone for many superstars, but mostly selected players with whom he has played with. That explains the selection of his brother Akbar Ansari, who has played just 17 first-class matches.

As many as five Englishmen make Ansari’s XI, while there is room for two West Indians (Chris Gayle and Sir Garry Sobers), two Pakistanis (Wasim Akram and Yasir Arafat), one South African (Hashim Amla) and one Indian (Pragyan Ojha).

ANSARI’S ALL-TIME XI


Chris Gayle, Marcus Trescothick (c), Hashim Amla, James Hildreth, Sir Garry Sobers, Steven Davies (wk), Akbar Ansari, Wasim Akram, Yasir Arafat, Tim Linley, Pragyan Ojha.








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