Having fetched R9.8m in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to play for the Delhi Daredevils earlier in 2017, Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has the added pressure of being the main marquee player for the Joburg Giants in SA’s inaugural Global T20 competition.
Three years ago, Rabada had just left school without taking a five-for for St Stithians College. Now, he is the face of the Johannesburg-based Global T20 side that is owned by his Daredevils employers. It represents yet another pressure situation in a few years that have been defined by his being dragged out of his comfort zone.
The fact that he already has the best bowling figures by a South African in ODIs and the second best in Tests suggests he has had few problems handling the demands of not only first-class cricket, but those of international cricket as well.
"There’s always pressure to perform but there are ways you can deal with it‚" Rabada said at a school coaching clinic at Vorentoe High School in Auckland Park on Monday.
"But you have to take it one step at a time and‚ depending on what you want to achieve, you have to get out of your comfort zone," Rabada said.
"It definitely has been [a pressure situation], but it’s something I wanted to do and when you want to do something you’re going to get into tricky situations, but you’ll find a way to get yourself in a sane state of mind."
Rabada‚ who had a taste of IPL cricket with the Daredevils in April‚ said he expected the Global T20 to be of a high standard. "There are a lot of good players in the competition.
"There are good national players playing‚ some good franchise players‚ some overseas players and overseas marquee players who are greats of the game I don’t think will ever be forgotten.
"Guys like Brendon McCullum‚ Chris Gayle‚ Lasith Malinga and Dwayne Bravo are guys who have played cricket for a very long time and have done really well.
"So I expect a competition of high skill....
"It’s going to be a spectacle‚ I hope we can get the crowds in," Rabada said.