He believes it is his unwavering “will to win” that has contributed to his success thus far. Rabada’s outstanding performances in the past season earned him the Test Player of the Year award at the 2023 Cricket South Africa Awards.
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With his consistent presence among the top five Test wicket takers worldwide, the accolade was well-deserved.
While Rabada struggled during the first Test of the 2021/23 World Test Championship against India, receiving feedback from the then-captain Dean Elgar, he swiftly regained his form during the subsequent two tests of the Freedom Trophy.
He continued to impress during the New Zealand tour and maintained a commendable performance in England, particularly with a memorable spell at Lord’s.
Reflecting on his Test Player of the Year award, Rabada expressed mixed feelings, acknowledging that it was not his best season. Nevertheless, he felt grateful to have received such a prestigious accolade for his efforts.
Having learned an important lesson after the 2019 World Cup, where South Africa was eliminated before completing their round-robin fixtures, Rabada realized the significance of banishing self-doubt and accepting the possibility of defeat.
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He emphasizes the importance of keeping success in mind at all times. Rabada’s nine-year tenure with the Proteas has showcased his exceptional talent since his debut at the Adelaide Oval.
His remarkable performance at the age of 21 in Perth in 2016 and his eleven-wicket haul against Australia at St. George’s Park Cricket Stadium in 2018 stand out as unforgettable moments.
Throughout these years, it became evident that Rabada possessed a unique prowess that set him apart.
Despite the ups and downs of recent seasons, Rabada’s exceptional qualities remain intact. He attributes his success to his unwavering “will to win,” which drives him to excel.
While the Proteas face a lack of World Cup experience in the current ODI squad, Rabada’s extensive international career makes him a valuable asset.
Understanding the significance of his experience, Rabada believes it is a no-brainer for him to step up as the senior player in the team.
He aims to welcome the younger players into the squad, fostering a sense of belonging and aligning their objectives with the team’s vision.
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Rabada acknowledges that the younger players will look up to the senior members to grasp the essence of playing for the Proteas.
He believes that the recent training camp in Durban provided an opportunity for the senior players to influence the team’s direction and work towards defining their identity.