Delhi Capitals have consistently hovered around the top of the table since the beginning of IPL 2020 — a fact that speaks volumes about the team's phenomenal gameplay thus far.
The franchise hasn't relied on the individual brilliance of a few big names, and more often than not, a different player has assumed the charge of guiding it towards victory.
However, a vital cog who has consistently delivered the goods with the ball is Kagiso Rabada. Having scalped 21 wickets from just 10 matches, the South African speedster currently possesses the Purple Cap. Besides, he has maintained an impressive economy rate of 7.58.
Mohammed Shami, who is behind Rabada, has 16 wickets and an economy rate of 8.43, the lead highlighting how the South African has been in a league of his own in the current edition of the IPL.
A change of landscape hasn’t really affected Rabada’s performance – he has been among the wickets in UAE, much like he was in India last season. As expected, the tracks of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah have turned out to be on the slower side. But going by Rabada’s admission, the UAE conditions have been “tricky”, the silver lining being the fact that they have something on offer for “all facets of the game”.
Addressing reporters in a virtual press conference organised by the Delhi Capitals, Rabada said, “The conditions have been quite tricky because we play at the same venues (Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah). But we play on fresh wickets at certain times and sometimes on used wickets – they (wickets) all play quite differently.”
“All the pitches are definitely on the slower side which is quite similar to India, but it is a different kind of slow. I feel the conditions in UAE have something for all facets of the game, be it bowling or batting,” he added.
The 25-year-old doesn’t feel there is a particular line and length to abide by and holds “adjustments” as the key for a bowler’s success, even in the UAE.
“I think the line and the length remains pretty much the same in every condition. If anything, you might want to adjust to the fuller side because the wickets are a little slow. But it depends on the conditions you have on that particular day. You need to find the length that’s going to work on that particular wicket, so it’s about making that adjustment.”
Rabada has led DC’s pace attack with aplomb, but credit should also be given to his South African compatriot Anrich Nortje, who has consistently bowled with menacing pace. In fact, Nortje bowled the fastest delivery in the history of IPL as he clocked a stunning 156.22 kmph in their clash against Rajasthan Royals.
The duo doesn’t provide the opposition batsman any breathing room, especially when they are operating in tandem. For good reason, their partnership has come to be described as one of the most lethal in the history of the competition.
Describing his partnership with Nortje as “awesome”, Rabada heaped praise on his South African teammate.
“It’s awesome bowling with him. He’s got a lot of pace. He is always willing to learn and open to new ideas which is a great trait to have. Both of us are always giving our best for the team, it’s in our nature. Yeah, to be termed as one of the most lethal partnerships in IPL history is some feat, but when we play, we just take it game by game, we don’t walk around thinking that we are the most lethal. That’s the last thought on our mind. We just worry about the next game,” Rabada chuckled.
Despite being humbled by Kings XI Punjab in their last clash, DC, who are currently the table toppers, look well set for a playoff berth. Skipper Shreyas Iyer termed their loss against KXIP as a "wake-up call". But Rabada sounded optimistic about the team's campaign in the business end of the tournament.
“I don’t think I would call it a wake-up call. Losses do happen, so it’s not about panicking and trying to reinvent the wheel. We need to assess where we went wrong, which we have done from the second we lost. We also need to realise what came out well in that game. So, you have to keep reinforcing what you did well and not just focus on the negatives.”
Rabada is impressed with the skill level of players in IPL 2020 and took to Twitter to express the same.
The skill level of the players at this years ipl has been remarkable! Cricket is alive and healthy! 👏
— Kagiso Rabada (@KagisoRabada25) October 18, 2020
When asked to elaborate on the same, the South African said the manner in which games are going down to the wire makes IPL "second to none".
“In this IPL, one thing that I can’t skip is that every team is in it. The match is not over till the very last over. The competitiveness is second to none. It is reflecting in how the games are contested and how deep they are going.”
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