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regular-article-logo Thursday, 25 July 2024

World Cup 2023: Kagiso Rabada plays down favourites tag after South Africa's big wins

The Temba Bavuma-led side started their campaign with a 102-run win over Sri Lanka in New Delhi before it decimated five-time champions Australia by a mammoth 134 runs

PTI Lucknow Published 13.10.23, 11:46 AM
outh African bowler Kagiso Rabada with teamamtes celebrates the wicket of Australian batter Marcus Stoinis during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 match between Australia and South Africa

outh African bowler Kagiso Rabada with teamamtes celebrates the wicket of Australian batter Marcus Stoinis during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 match between Australia and South Africa PTI

Commanding wins in their two opening games have elevated South Africa as favourites in the World Cup but pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada insisted there is still a long way to go and the team is focused on taking one match at a time.

The Temba Bavuma-led side started their campaign with a 102-run win over Sri Lanka in New Delhi before it decimated five-time champions Australia by a mammoth 134 runs here on Thursday.

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"We're still a long way away but there are plenty of positives to take. So, that's a good thing but we're looking to rock up the next game. We'll see how we feel, we want to improve, look at our strengths, look at our weaknesses and look to brush up," Rabada said at the post-match press conference.

"But generally, I think we played nearly the perfect game of cricket. So, it's just about leaving this behind. Once we leave that behind and focus is on the next game, that's it." While the batters were on a rampage in the win against Sri Lanka, SA bowlers went for runs aplenty but against Australia the Proteas excelled in all three departments.

"Looking at every game there's always areas to improve. We were cognizant of the fact that we did slack off in certain areas in the previous game. But there will always be areas to improve in the game of cricket, but we'll do our analysis and we'll see how we want to move forward."

'Technology favoured us'

Rabada tore apart Australia's middle-order claiming the vital scalps of Steve Smith, Josh Inglis and Marcus Stoinis.

Two of those wickets came from controversial reviews. Rabada trapped Smith leg before with the on-field umpire ruling it not out but on reviewing it, ball tracking technology showed it was hitting the leg stump.

As the ball hit Smith's pad Rabada had looked unsure, but wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock had insisted on appealing.

"Well, I was hoping for ‘umpires call.' I felt as if it just skidded through, didn't really bounce much. And as you know, Steve, he walks across his stumps. That's just his trigger.

"And it just, from my angle and from Quinny's angle it looked quite good and we decided to go up and yeah, the technology favoured us today but I thought it was close. I don't think it was as obvious as ‘missing’." Rabada found himself amidst controversy again when he had Stoinis caught behind off the bottom glove.

However, there was a lot of confusion on whether Stoinis' top and bottom hands were connected to the bat.

"I initially thought it hit his thigh pad and my teammates around me felt that they heard a woody sound. And you know, Stoinis didn't look so convincing. I think he looked as if...he felt as if he touched it.

"I guess the controversy was around the fact that his hand was off the bat when the ball made contact with his glove. But we thought it was the bat handle. Again, that's not up to us. We reviewed it and the umpires made a decision," he signed off.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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