Kagiso Rabada. Picture: STU FORSTER/GETTY IMAGES
Kagiso Rabada. Picture: STU FORSTER/GETTY IMAGES

Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada said time away from cricket during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown has allowed him to set goals and think about what he really wants.

While the 25-year-old Johannesburg-born pace bowler claimed an impressive 21 wickets in six Test matches‚ he agrees the past season was not great for the team as a whole.

“The past season was a disappointment‚” Rabada said. “Even if I look back and see that my stats were OK‚ I just felt really rusty and a bit out of place‚ but I realise that it was never supposed to be easy‚ so I’m taking it day by day trying to achieve my new set of goals.”

The past season was the fifth with the Proteas for the Lions speedster since making his debut in a Twenty20 international against Australia in November 2014. He has already represented SA at a Cricket World Cup and has since shattered records in all formats of the game.

“I feel that these five years have really gone by very quickly‚” said Rabada, who in 2018 surpassed the record held by legendary Indian bowler Harbhajan Singh to become the youngest bowler to take 150 wickets in Test cricket. He also became the third-fastest South African to reach 150 Test wickets in terms of matches played.

“There’s been a lot of cricket that was played. I’m just really glad that I can get a rest‚ not in the way that it has come‚ but it’s been good and I’ve really enjoyed my time off.

“It has allowed me to think about what I really want and it  makes it easier to set goals.”

Rabada revealed that he has recovered from a minor knock he was carrying in mid-March just before cricket around the world was floored by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Before Covid I had minor injury in my groin and so I wasn’t doing much except for rehab. Now I am healed so I wasn’t really doing much technical work‚” said Rabada, who also revealed his partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to drum a wellness message around the world.

“Recently I started a project with a friend called the Viral Wellness. Basically it is about spreading wellness. We did a few campaigns with the WHO and we formed a relationship with them and we are hoping to do much more in spreading wellness.

“Covid-19 has affected SA on multiple points. The one is economically‚ and a lot of people in the country are economically challenged. SA is the most unequal country in the world. So it is just good to lend a helping hand, especially now.”

Minister of sport Nathi Mthethwa confirmed at the weekend that non-contact sports such as cricket can resume behind closed doors at level three on Monday.