The 22-year-old was the standout bowler yet again as South Africa thrashed Bangladesh by an innings and 254 runs inside three days to win the second Test in Bloemfontein and complete a comprehensive 2-0 series victory over the hapless visitors.
The fast bowler put in an impressive shift on a batting-friendly pitch on which Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis all scored centuries in South Africa’s mammoth first innings total of 573/4. Rabada’s return of 10 wickets for just 63 runs was enough to earn him the Man of the Match award and take him past the 50-wicket mark for the calendar year. He’s the leading wicket-taker in the long format over the past 12 months.
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Rabada had reached a century of wickets by his 22nd Test, with three 10-wicket hauls along the way. The selectors will be heartened by the way the young pacer led the attack, which was shorn of the injured trio of Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn for the first time since 2007.
He’s now the third-youngest quick to ever take 100 Test wickets, behind Pakistan’s Waqar Younis and India’s Kapil Dev. Among all bowlers, Rabada is fifth, with spinners Daniel Vettori and Harbhajan Singh in the mix.
Rabada was typically humble in his post-match comments, as he spoke about handling the pressure of leading the attack. “There is expectation and there will be pressure. No-one is a Rambo, we are all human beings. You have to find ways to cope with it. The best players and the guys who have been in the longest have found ways to cope with it. Sometimes it can get bigger and you have to find a new way to deal with it. You grow as a person when things are not going your way.”