Regarded as one of the best fast bowlers going around, South Africa spearhead Kagiso Rabada has picked the best batsman of the world. The best batsman of the world debate got a new lease of life after an astronomical effort on return to Test cricket by former Australia captain Steve Smith.
It took just 3 innings for Smith to topple India skipper Virat Kohli as the No.1 batter in ICC Test rankings despite being away from the game for 12 months. But according to Rabada, Virat Kohli takes the cake.
Speaking on arrival in Delhi for South Africa’s tour of India, Rabada heaped praise on Virat Kohli, terming him already a great of the game.
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“Virat Kohli has proven that he is the best batsman in white-ball format. He is already regarded as a great of the game with some pedigree,” Rabada told PTI.
On throwing light about his plans to tackle Kohli in the upcoming series against India, Rabada said, they will enjoy the battle with the world’s best batter. “I think Kohli is a fighter and at the end of the day, we would like to go and express ourselves and not have any fear. Have fun, play hard and just enjoy the battle with the world’s best batter,” Rabada said.
A relatively weaker South African side without the likes of regular captain Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn is touring India for a three-match T20I and three-match Test series but Rabada is ready to take up the challenge. “I am really looking at the next couple of years. It’s a challenge for us, it’s a journey. The group has belief in its abilities and we need to see how we fare on this tour of India,” Rabada added.
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“You need to look at the transition phase in a positive way. I am glad that I am playing with guys that I have played at school at the age group level and that’s fascinating for me,” the 24-year-old said.
The tour of India is South Africa’s first assignment since a disastrous World Cup campaign, during which they were knocked out in preliminary stage itself. India are the numero uno team in the ICC Test rankings but are placed a rung behind South Africa, at 4th, in the T20 list.
“The goal is to compare ourselves with the best. India have been a successful team over the years. There’s been some changes and our team is now a lot younger. It’s a challenge for those who haven’t played here earlier,” acknowledged Rabada, who has already played over 100 international games across formats.
The series starts with the first T20I at Dharamsala on September 15.