Second Test, Port Elizabeth, Day one, second session – Australia after choosing to bat first has coped up with the difficult conditions to put a 98-run opening stance. With tea break just around the corner, Australia is sitting safely at 161/3 with Steven Smith still at the crease, Rabada is bowling.
Bowling his third over of the spell, Rabada has been hit for a boundary each in his first two over. The third over is different. After conceding two runs in his first five balls, Rabada manages to get one ball past the unbreachable defense of Steven Smith and traps him plumb in front of the stumps.
The Australian captain is bewildered, he almost walks even before the umpire has raised his finger. In his classic brain fading way, Smith asks for a review only because his reputation entitles him to. Australia 161/4.
Rabada comes back after Maharaj bowls a tight over from the other end. In his next over, Rabada manages to catch Shaun Marsh off guard and forces Mitchell Marsh to edge one to De Kock. Australia 170/6.
The tea is taken and it has fired up Rabada more. He picks up Cummins on the first ball after the break and soon clips the top of off-stump of Mitchell Starc. Australia 182/8
A stormy spell from stormy bowler has broken the back of Australia, the blow was so telling that the recipient could not recover. Rabada ended up with bowling figures of 5/96 in the first innings, figures he would improve on in the second innings.
The Australians could not endure the fiery fast bowler in the second innings either, he sliced through the batting line-up again as he recorded the bowling figures 6/54 – taking his fourth Ten-wicket haul in Tests.
The six-for from Rabada in the second innings restricted Australia with a lead of only 100 runs. South Africa lost four wickets in the chase but eventually reached the total to equal the series 1-1. Man of the Match was without a doubt Kagiso Rabada.
Rabada’s meteoric rise to the number 1 rank in ICC Test bowlers ranking has been one to behold. The signs were evident on his ODI debut where he snared 6/16 including a hat-trick.
After a laborious Test debut in India, Rabada stepped into his own against England at home. His first Test five-for came in a losing cause but his 13-wicket haul in the next match helped South Africa defeat England by 280 runs.
Few more stellar performances in the next Tests helped Rabada leapfrog James Anderson in the ICC Test rankings and he became the numero uno of Test bowling in his 24th Test itself. He has not looked back since.
With the careers of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel simmering towards its end, Kagiso Rabada will have to spearhead the South African bowling attack. If he manages to overcome his seething anger in future, he will be one bowler that batsman will dread facing.