Youngest to Top Test Bowling Table, Rabada ‘Would Like to Open’

South African pacer Kagiso Rabada overtook England’s James Anderson to top the ICC Rankings for Test bowlers.

2 min read
<span style="white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Kagiso Rabada overtook England’s James Anderson to top the ICC Rankings for Test bowlers.</span>

By returning figures of 3-34 and 2-41 in South Africa’s Test victory over India at Cape Town, Kagiso Rabada overtook England’s James Anderson to top the ICC Rankings for Test bowlers.

Twenty-two-year-old Rabada said it is his ambition to open the bowling for South Africa, but he will likely have to wait for his chance ahead of the second Test against India starting in Pretoria on Saturday, 13 January.

In the absence of veteran pacer Dale Steyn, Rabada's thrilling display of fast bowling helped South Africa to a 72-run victory in the first Test at Newlands, and catapulted the young firebrand to the summit of the International Cricket Council's test rankings.

"Our bowling attack is very skilled, as we have seen in the past and in the last game. It feels great to be playing alongside these veterans," said Rabada.

I just bowl wherever the team wants me to bowl, but obviously I would like to open. It is very tough at the moment, though, because there are two very good bowlers doing that.
Kagiso Rabada

“I just like to do whatever the team requires me to do and set my own aspirations aside,” he added.

Rabada became the seventh South African to reach top spot following Dale Steyn, Shaun Pollock, Hugh Tayfield, Peter Pollock, Vernon Philander and Aubrey Faulkner – who uniquely managed to top both Test batting and bowling tables.

Since the start of 2016 he has taken 108 test wickets at an average of 21.34 and has a career strike-rate of 39.2 that is better than veterans Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel.

Rabada became the youngest player to ever top the Test bowling table, surpassing a record which had stood since the 19th Century.

Despite his form, Rabada was the fourth bowler used by South African captain Faf du Plessis in the first innings against India, a bow to his teammates' seniority.

Many believe he can still get quicker, adding further to his considerable weaponry.

I don’t know how fast I can get. Sometimes I don’t think the speed gun is telling the truth to be honest. I can feel when I’m bowling quick and when I’m not.
Kagiso Rabada

The loss of Steyn to another injury setback means the burden will be greater on Rabada this season, with two more home Tests to come against India and then four Tests against the visiting Australians.

"I need to do more, I am always striving for perfection, even though you will never reach it," he said. "There is always something else you can work on and that is what I have done in my career so far. There is always a problem!"

(With inputs from Reuters.)

(We Indians have much to talk about these days. But what would you tell India if you had the chance? Pick up the phone and write or record your Letter To India. Don’t be silent, tell her how you feel. Mail us your letter at We’ll make sure India gets your message.)

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!