We're still trying to catch up to the Indian team says South African pacer Kagiso Rabada

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We're still trying to catch up to the Indian team says South African pacer Kagiso Rabada

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SportsCafe Desk

02/06/2018

Kagiso Rabada feels that the current Indian side boasts strong players in the form of Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, etc. and admits that SA are still playing catch-up to the No.1 ODI team. Rabada admits the bowlers needed to step up their game after claiming just five wickets over the two matches.

After a successful outing in the Test series last month, the South African contingent has found themselves trailing 2-0 down against India, who have managed to make a stunning comeback in the limited-overs cricket. On the back of Chahal and Yadav's performances, the Indian batsmen have managed to continue their impressive displays from the Test series to the limited overs format.

Skipper Virat Kohli has scored 158 runs in two innings for just one dismissal while he received decent support from the upper batting order in the form of Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan. Acknowledging their superb balance and strengths, Rabada admitted that South Africa are still to reach their level in ODI.

"We clearly haven't come to the party. It's not acceptable at all, But India are a strong team. They've just beaten Australia comprehensively. I know they've been playing all their games at home, but they've been playing good cricket,"

"They reached the final of the Champions Trophy, so they've had a good foundation for quite a while. It doesn't help that we have been going through a few changes and not been in the best form since the Champions Trophy in one-day cricket. We are still trying to catch up at the moment. Hopefully, it comes pretty soon." Rabada said in an interview to Cricbuzz.

With senior players like AB De Villiers and Faf Du Plessis already out Quinton De Kockwas latest to join them, leaving the side reduced to bones. Rabada, who had a heroic display in the Test series where he claimed 15 wickets, admitted that injuries to senior players have led to the downfall of the team at the moment.

With yet another inexperienced player in Heinrich Klaasen now forced to be included in the next ODI, Rabada has asked his teammates to focus on their strengths and keep calm.

"When you're losing it's tough to find an answer. There are so many answers that you can throw out there. You need to speak the right language in your mind, be really strong mentally, and all you can do is strive to perfect your skills on the pitch. The most important thing is for us to stay positive and try not to seek too many answers. When you're winning, you don't ask yourself too many questions. We need to stay positive and try to change the momentum." said Rabada.

The Indian wrist spinning duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have racked up a total of 13 wickets over the two ODI’s played, with South African batsmen almost helpless at the face of spin bowling. The home team was wrapped up for a minimum total of 118 runs in Centurion, which has been their lowest score on the home turf. 

In a bid to put up more of a fight against the two deadly spinners, the South African team management even organised an optional net practice session ahead of the third ODI to specifically combat wrist spin. The batting line-up gained practice from a number of wrist spinners at the nets before the team retired to the dressing room for lengthy discussions.

The challenges facing the Proteas go further than a couple of tricky bowlers though. Their own bowlers have failed to trouble India, who have lost just five wickets to South Africa's 18 in the last two ODIs. But 22-year old Rabada preferred to see these obstacles as an opportunity to learn and come together as a team.

"In an ideal world, to get close to the perfect game, you need a lot of people score runs, or a lot of people take wickets. Or you need individual brilliance. We'll take either. We know cricket is a game of ups and downs. We need to go back, see where we're going wrong, calm down and do our business on the field," he said.

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