South Africa bowling coach Charl Langeveldt, in the aftermath of Day 3 of the Boxing Day Test, has singled-out Kagiso Rabada and has called for the Proteas talisman to develop better control on flatter wickets. Or, in other words, emulate Pat Cummins, who’s mastered the art of bowling tight.
South Africa conceded 575 runs against an injury-struck Australian batting line-up and Rabada was the most expensive bowler across both sides, conceding 144 runs from 28 overs at an eye-watering economy of 5.10. Rabada bowled a solitary maiden in his 28 overs and was taken to the cleaners by the Aussie batters.
Langeveldt lauded Rabada’s ability to strike but claimed that the 27-year-old, going forward, needs to learn to keep things tight when the wicket ain’t offering much.
"I think KG wasn't on song if I can single him out. For KG, he is a wicket-taker, he always takes wicketsThe challenge always for him is to be able to control that,” Langeveldt said on Wednesday.
“I think Cummins when he started off, he leaked a few runs but then he got consistent, and he was aggressive. And I think that's [Rabada's] challenge going forward to make him a brilliant bowler.
“At the moment he is one of the leading wicket-takers in red-ball cricket. But going forward playing on flatter wickets, I think that's going to be the challenge for him."
Langeveldt further described South Africa’s lack of control with the ball at the MCG a ‘red flag’. In just 145 overs, the Aussie batters racked up 575 runs, scoring at an exceptional run rate of 3.96.
"It's definitely a red flag," Langeveldt said of the Proteas’ lack of control.
"We always pride ourselves on bowling 18 consecutive balls and that's kind of one of our KPIs. And we haven't achieved that in this game and it's a red flag going forward. We need to improve on that.
"It's been a tough three days for us I think as a bowling unit. The first session we probably didn't start well on day one. The only problem is just our control. I think it's something that we need to speak about, something we can improve.”
Langeveldt, however, asserted that he was pleased with the enthusiasm shown by the Proteas bowlers.
"But being a young bowling attack, it's not an excuse, they've played a few tests together. It's just being able to control the run rate for longer periods. But I was happy with the enthusiasm that the guys showed. I think they were brilliant. Can't fault them,” the bowling coach said.
South Africa, currently 15/1 in the second innings, need to score 371 more runs to make Australia bat again.