Kagiso Rabada, the South African fast bowler, made headlines by calling Indian skipper Virat Kohli “immature” ahead of Proteas’ opening match in the ICC World Cup 2019.
He was talking about a banter he had with Kohli while playing for Delhi Capitals (DC) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019. Rabada and Kohli were involved in a heated exchange of words when Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) was playing an away match in Delhi.
“I was just thinking about the game plan, really, but Virat, he hit me for a boundary and then he had a word. And then when you give it back to him, he gets angry. I don’t get the guy. Maybe he does it because it gets him going, but that comes across as very immature for me. He is a phenomenal player, but he can’t take the abuse. But those things can’t distract you”, Rabada had told ESPNCricinfo.
However, Rabada has now sensationally taken a u-turn. Speaking on arrival in New Delhi for South Africa’s upcoming tour of India, Rabada heaped praise on Virat Kohli, terming him already a great of the game.
“Virat Kohli has proven that he is the best batsman in white-ball format. He is already regarded as a great of the game with some pedigree,” Rabada told PTI.
On revealing about his plans to tackle Kohli in the upcoming series against India, Rabada said, he will enjoy the battle with the world’s best batsmen. “I think Kohli is a fighter and at the end of the day, we would like to go and express ourselves and not have any fear. Have fun, play hard and just enjoy the battle with the world’s best batter,” Rabada said.
A relatively weaker Proteas side sans the likes of regular captain Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, and Dale Steyn on India tour, but Rabada is ready to take up the challenge.
“I am really looking at the next couple of years. It’s a challenge for us, it’s a journey. The group has belief in its abilities and we need to see how we fare on this tour of India,” Rabada added.