Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Legendary South Africa pace bowler Makhaya Ntini has lauded seamer Kagiso Rabada after he rose to the top of the ODI bowlers rankings.
Rabada’s ascent to the summit came after the three-match ODI series against England, where the 22-year-old took seven wickets at an average of 21.71.
Ntini also reminisced about when he first heard of Rabada’s name and admitted that he was impressed that the Johannesburg native has lived up to all the hype that surrounded him as he grew up.
“A few years ago we started hearing stories that there was a talented‚ young and quick bowler at the Lions,” Ntini said. “As time went by he started getting game time at franchise level.
“The early signs were there for everyone to see. I am happy that he is fulfilling his undoubted potential and he has managed to reach the top of the ODI rankings.
“I sent him a congratulatory message for his achievement and it feels good to see another black South African bowler doing well at that level of the game.”
While Ntini is over the moon for Rabada, the 39-year-old conceded that the youngster has to remain consistent in order to stay at the top.
“I know it is difficult to get to that level and the most important thing for him now is to stay there for a sustained period of time,” he said. “He must play consistently in the coming months like he has been doing recently.
“He took his opportunity in the absence of Dale Steyn and he is going to be an important player for us during the Champions Trophy.
“We have AB de Villiers as the No.1 ranked batsman in the format‚ Rabada as the No.1 ranked bowler and the rest of the players must complement them.”